[arcadia_group] Re: The game plan- READ

  • From: Christopher Jones <cjones20@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: arcadia_group@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 22:09:05 -0400

hey guys

my stuff is coming

life is quite unpredictable.  my boyfriend was beaten and robbed tonight.

ill have my slides in just a bit

On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Thomas Barrows

> got it thanks
> On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 2:22 PM, William Robinson <
> wrobin3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Hey Tom, here's my slide.
>> On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 5:31 PM, Christopher Jones <
>> cjones20@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> i am in the same boat.
>>> i just had a super busy and shitty weekend that i just need to move past
>>> at this point.
>>> what time are we meeting again?
>>> i am getting off work now, and need to go home and change and stuff.
>>> if it's at 6, im going to be a bit late.  i apologize
>>> On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 3:37 PM, R NOEMER <kevinnoemer@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>>>> Okay, I might not have my slides at the meeting. I have all of my
>>>> information, minus a few exact references from the script that I have to
>>>> write out, but I have a very solid amount of information typed up in a Word
>>>> document to look at when I put my slides together. But if I don't get my
>>>> slides done before the meeting, I can easily finish them afterwards when I
>>>> get home and then email them to Tom. I figure so long as we figure out the
>>>> order and everything, putting my slides in afterwards is as easy as copy 
>>>> and
>>>> pasting. I'll try to get them done, but yeah, this weekend hasn't gone
>>>> exactly as I had planned it.
>>>> Kevin
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 20:30:56 -0400
>>>> Subject: [arcadia_group] Re: The game plan- READ
>>>> From: tbarro1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> To: arcadia_group@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> hey guys i was thinking bring your slides on a thumbdrive or email it to
>>>> yourself and when we get together on sunday we can put them together with
>>>> all of us there. T
>>>> On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 5:03 PM, R NOEMER <kevinnoemer@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>>>> Hey, sorry guys. I didn't get around to checking my email in the last
>>>> two days. I was lucky enough to get mono from God knows where. Hooray!
>>>> Anyways, I should have my slides done by Sunday. I've got a couple more
>>>> articles to read through, but this is more or less the only work I have, so
>>>> I'm not really too stressed about it. Also, Dan you seem to know a good 
>>>> deal
>>>> about the math in the play, so if you have any thoughts you'd like to share
>>>> with me, that'd be awesome. While I find all the iterations and 
>>>> naturalistic
>>>> geometry interesting, math certainly is not my forte. I'll let you guys 
>>>> take
>>>> a look at what I've come up with before we present in case anyone with a
>>>> better grasp on the concepts has some thoughts.
>>>> Kevin
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 18:48:34 -0400
>>>> Subject: [arcadia_group] Re: The game plan- READ
>>>> From: dsince1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> To: arcadia_group@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>  All;
>>>> Dan here.  Tom and Will - I am attaching a few documents I found most
>>>> are either interviews or biographical content, and I am also including the
>>>> Stage as Hyperspace paper and another dealing with the music titled 
>>>> Waltzing
>>>> in Arcadia.
>>>> Also, I have a little more work to do on my presentation slides, but
>>>> will get those out soon.
>>>> Thanks for meeting today, guys, I think things are going to be fine.
>>>> Dan
>>>> --Forwarded Message Attachment--
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>>>> EBSCO Publishing   Citation Format: MLA (Modern Language Assoc.):
>>>> *NOTE:* Review the instructions at 
>>>> http://support.ebsco.com/help/?int=ehost&lang=en&feature_id=MLA
>>>> and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay special attention
>>>> to personal names, capitalization, and dates. Always consult your library
>>>> resources for the exact formatting and punctuation guidelines.
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> Works Cited
>>>> Zoglin, Richard. "Elitist, Moi?." *Time* 170.19 (05 Nov. 2007): 69-71.
>>>> *International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text*. EBSCO.
>>>> [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 26 Apr. 2009 <
>>>> http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ibh&AN=27257715&site=ehost-live
>>>> >.
>>>> <!--Additional Information:
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>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> Section: Art THEATER
>>>> *Elitist, Moi? *
>>>> Tom Stoppard isn't trying to be highbrow. To prove it, his new play is
>>>> about rock music … and revolution
>>>> When his interviewer arrives, Tom Stoppard is standing outside the
>>>> Broadway theater where his latest play, Rock 'n' Roll, is about to begin
>>>> previews. Sporting an open white shirt with the sleeves partly rolled up 
>>>> and
>>>> tousled (if graying) hair that still gives him the look of an overage
>>>> college student, he's enjoying a cigarette in a circle of warm spring
>>>> sunshine that has managed to find a hole in the Manhattan skyline. But he
>>>> really should be off his feet. A few days earlier, in the rush to catch a
>>>> plane to New York City, Stoppard stubbed his toe hard in his London
>>>> apartment. He has just come back from the doctor, who told him the toe is
>>>> broken and ordered him to stay off it as much as possible--after which,
>>>> Stoppard walked 13 blocks to the theater.
>>>> The spectacle of Tom Stoppard hoofing it through the theater district on
>>>> a bum foot would be disconcerting to people who think of the playwright as
>>>> something of an élitist. Ever since his sensational stage debut in 1967 
>>>> with
>>>> Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead--his absurdist riff on a pair of 
>>>> minor
>>>> characters in Hamlet--Stoppard has become almost a genre unto himself,
>>>> taking intellectual, often abstruse subject matter and turning it into
>>>> challenging yet playful drama. His game, frequently, is the oddball
>>>> juxtaposition: moral philosophy and gymnastics (Jumpers); Fermat's last
>>>> theorem and Byron's love poetry (Arcadia); James Joyce and Vladimir Lenin
>>>> (Travesties). "Tom said to me once that he decides on one play, and then
>>>> shortly after decides on a different one," says Trevor Nunn, director of
>>>> Rock 'n' Roll and several other Stoppard plays. "And then he lets them 
>>>> crash
>>>> into each other." The Coast of Utopia, his nearly nine-hour trilogy about
>>>> Russia's radical political thinkers of the 19th century, was a relatively
>>>> straight-ahead historical journey (which is why this critic, at least,
>>>> didn't rank it among his best), but it was an unexpectedly huge hit, 
>>>> playing
>>>> to sold-out crowds during its run at New York City's Lincoln Center last
>>>> season and winning seven Tony Awards, a record for a straight play. And 
>>>> that
>>>> gives him the right to hobble into any Broadway theater with a play on just
>>>> about any subject he wants.
>>>> With Rock 'n' Roll, which took London by storm last year and opens on
>>>> Broadway Nov. 4, Stoppard is exploring two more of his passions, one old 
>>>> and
>>>> one relatively new. The play spans a couple of decades in the lives of a
>>>> group of Czech political activists and British academics and shuttles back
>>>> and forth between Cambridge and Prague in the years between the 1968 Soviet
>>>> invasion and the "velvet revolution" of 1989. It's an exploration of
>>>> political repression and commitment (with a typically Stoppardian 
>>>> digression
>>>> into Sappho's poetry), but also a celebration of the rebel rock music that,
>>>> in Stoppard's view, was as potent a force for revolution as Vaclav Havel's
>>>> speeches. Scenes are punctuated with the sounds of groups like the Rolling
>>>> Stones and the Plastic People of the Universe, a Czech band imprisoned
>>>> during the Soviet crackdown--with a special nod to Syd Barrett, a founding
>>>> member of Pink Floyd, who was ousted by his band over his erratic,
>>>> drug-fueled, near psychotic behavior.
>>>> Rock 'n' Roll is the first stage work Stoppard has written explicitly
>>>> about Czechoslovakia, where he was born in 1937 but which he left as a baby
>>>> when his parents fled the Nazis, moving to Singapore and then India before
>>>> landing in Bristol, England.
>>>> Until the fall of communism, he returned only once to the country, in
>>>> 1977. "I began to have more identity as a Czech comparatively recently," he
>>>> says. "To tell you the truth, I think it was my mother dying about 10 years
>>>> ago that gave me permission to be Czech. Because my mother's whole attitude
>>>> was to leave the past behind. So I tended to kind of just respect her
>>>> attitude." A pause. "That's not the whole truth. The fact is, I loved being
>>>> English. I was very happy to be turned into an English schoolboy."
>>>> Those schoolboy days ended at age 17, when Stoppard went to work for a
>>>> newspaper in Bristol. He covered the police beat and routine local news, 
>>>> but
>>>> he also got to interview visiting celebrities--New Orleans jazz musicians,
>>>> British movie-glamour queen Diana Dors. "I was so thrilled being a
>>>> reporter," he says, "because it gave you the kind of access to people that
>>>> you wouldn't ever get to meet." After a few years, he moved to London, 
>>>> where
>>>> he continued to write reviews and celebrity profiles. In 1960 he talked his
>>>> way into a trip to New York with a group of architects visiting the city's
>>>> buildings and did a story for the Yorkshire Post on Lenny Bruce, whom he 
>>>> saw
>>>> at the Village Vanguard and corralled outside for a 10-minute interview.
>>>> Stoppard was taken by the irreverent comic (he even recalls some of his
>>>> jokes, like Bruce's plea for world peace, urging all the nations of the
>>>> world to get together and "kick the s___ out of the Polacks"). "His act was
>>>> very scatological by English standards," he says. "But I was amazed by 
>>>> him."
>>>> Stoppard's passion for rock music dates from his days in Bristol, where
>>>> he would see most of the touring music acts that came to town--among them
>>>> Frank Sinatra (who played the Bristol Hippodrome in the early '50s and
>>>> didn't sell out), the Everly Brothers and Eddie Cochran, the rockabilly
>>>> singer whose British tour ended when he was killed in a car crash in 1960.
>>>> Like everyone else, Stoppard embraced the Beatles and Rolling Stones when
>>>> they came along, but he admits to being a late bloomer when it came to Pink
>>>> Floyd. "I ignored them completely at first," he says. "When Dark Side of 
>>>> the
>>>> Moon came out, a friend of mine, a photographer, came over with the record
>>>> and said, 'Please, listen to this. There's a play in this album.' I put it
>>>> on top of this big wooden filing cabinet, and it stayed there for a year."
>>>> The twice-divorced Stoppard, who turned 70 this year, is a grandfather
>>>> now, but he keeps up with groups like Arcade Fire and the Arctic Monkeys. 
>>>> "I
>>>> listen to what shows up, really out of curiosity more than anything else,"
>>>> he says. "It's not often that something really gets to me." He goes to
>>>> concerts only rarely--for the Stones when they tour and an occasional
>>>> experiment like Oasis (a "brilliant songwriting band"). "I'm a very boring
>>>> person," he insists. He doesn't go to movies, he says (though he writes
>>>> plenty of them; see box), and spends most of his spare time reading--most
>>>> recently Janet Malcolm's biography of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
>>>> His chief recreational passion is trout fishing, which he does four or five
>>>> times a year, usually in Hampshire, England, but with periodic ventures to
>>>> more exotic climes like New Mexico and Wyoming.
>>>> Stoppard, who rolls his r's with a Continental flourish that somehow
>>>> manages not to seem affected, bristles at the notion that his work is too
>>>> highbrow or élitist for an ordinary audience--never mind that the New York
>>>> Times felt the need to print a reading list for theatergoers who wanted to
>>>> bone up before seeing The Coast of Utopia. He notes that his intellectual
>>>> obsessions are hardly unique or rarefied. "The market for books about
>>>> science and philosophy on the level on which I deal with things is a
>>>> best-seller market," he says, pointing to authors like Steven Pinker,
>>>> Richard Dawkins and Richard Feynman. It tickles him when he gets good
>>>> reviews for his scientific accuracy in specialist publications. Yet he
>>>> insists his goal is not to lift the audience's brow but simply to explore
>>>> fresh subjects that engage him. "I've got no interest in educating or
>>>> instructing people. It's entirely about my getting interested in something
>>>> because of its dramatic possibilities. I'm not there to do Op-Ed on
>>>> Broadway."
>>>> Indeed, Stoppard has always stood apart from many other British
>>>> playwrights of his generation, like David Hare, for avoiding an overtly
>>>> political (usually left-wing) point of view. He describes his politics as
>>>> "timid libertarian." Yet he can rev up a pretty bold rant on Britain's
>>>> "highly regulated society," which he thinks is "betraying the principle of
>>>> parliamentary democracy." There was the garden party he threw recently, for
>>>> example, where because there was a pond on the property, he was required to
>>>> hire two lifeguards. "The whole notion that we're all responsible for
>>>> ourselves and we don't actually have to have nannies busybodying all around
>>>> us, that's all going now. And I don't even know in whose interest it's
>>>> supposed to be or who wishes it to be so. It seems to be like a lava flow,
>>>> which nobody ordered up. Of course, one does know in whose interest it is.
>>>> It's in the interests of battalions of civil servants in jobs that never
>>>> existed 10 years ago."
>>>> Don't call Tom Stoppard a snob. But try finding a political rant in
>>>> America as polished as that.
>>>> PHOTO (COLOR): Radical band Brian Cox and Nicole Ansari in Rock 'n' Roll
>>>> ~~~~~~~~
>>>> By Richard Zoglin
>>>>  Script Doctor How Hollywood has used (or not used) Stoppard
>>>> Film writing is "exciting and agreeable in the first half of the
>>>> process," says Stoppard. "And then you get reminded that it's a movie and
>>>> it's not yours."
>>>> Screenplays He Wrote SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE "The playhouse is for
>>>> dreamers," says the Bard (Joseph Fiennes) to Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) in
>>>> Stoppard and Marc Norman's Oscar winner
>>>> BRAZIL Stoppard added jokes to Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown's
>>>> futuristic sci-fi script, which earned an Oscar nomination and cult status
>>>> EMPIRE OF THE SUN Stoppard and Menno Meyjes streamlined J.G. Ballard's
>>>> novel for Steven Spielberg and a 12-year-old Christian Bale
>>>> Screenplays He Helped Rewrite SLEEPY HOLLOW Director Tim Burton tapped
>>>> Stoppard to add humor to the more somber early draft of the Washington
>>>> Irving story
>>>> STAR WARS: EPISODE III--REVENGE OF THE SITH Stoppard played Jedi master
>>>> with the dialogue on George Lucas' last Star Wars film; he did not, 
>>>> however,
>>>> tamper with Yoda's syntax
>>>> Drafts He Wrote THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM Director Paul Greengrass didn't
>>>> end up using Stoppard's take on Matt Damon's taciturn spy
>>>> HIS DARK MATERIALS: THE GOLDEN COMPASS His crack at the first film
>>>> adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy novel was rejected in favor of a
>>>> draft by director Chris Weitz
>>>>  ------------------------------
>>>> Copyright © Time Inc., 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this
>>>> material may be duplicated or redisseminated without permission.
>>>> Back
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>>>> (.txt) or a 'Web Page, HTML only' file (.html). In Netscape, select *
>>>> FILE* then *SAVE AS* from your browser's toolbar above.
>>>> EBSCO Publishing   Citation Format: MLA (Modern Language Assoc.):
>>>> *NOTE:* Review the instructions at 
>>>> http://support.ebsco.com/help/?int=ehost&lang=en&feature_id=MLA
>>>> and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay special attention
>>>> to personal names, capitalization, and dates. Always consult your library
>>>> resources for the exact formatting and punctuation guidelines.
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> Works Cited
>>>> Gussow, Mel. "Happiness, chaos and Tom Stoppard." *American Theatre*12.10 
>>>> (Dec. 1995): 22.
>>>> *International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text*. EBSCO.
>>>> [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 26 Apr. 2009 <
>>>> http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ibh&AN=9512142530&site=ehost-live
>>>> >.
>>>> <!--Additional Information:
>>>> Persistent link to this record (Permalink):
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>>>> End of citation-->
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> In Tom Stoppard's radio play, Where Are They Now?, the author's
>>>> surrogate looks back nostalgically on his school days, and defines 
>>>> happiness
>>>> as "a passing change of emphasis." A dozen years later, the protagonist of
>>>> The Real Thing reiterates the statement with his observation, "Happiness is
>>>> equilibrium. Shift your weight." For Stoppard, equilibrium had become a
>>>> credo, as he repositioned himself to suit the shifts in the world. Call it 
>>>> a
>>>> Stop-pardian sense of gravity. The playwright provides his own ballast, as
>>>> he tries to remain in the moral center of his own universe. If one needs a
>>>> symbol of Stoppard's own inner balance, consider the pronunciation of his
>>>> name. It is STOP-PARD, with the syllables evenly accented.
>>>> His life and his work are crowded with apparent contradictions. Although
>>>> he was born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia (as Tomas Straussler) and spent his
>>>> early years in Singapore and India, he has become one of the most English 
>>>> of
>>>> Englishmen. He currently lives in both Chelsea, London and Iver, Bucks,
>>>> where he is a country squire with an English garden, a lawn for cricket, a
>>>> tennis court and his neighbor's cows peeping through the windows of his
>>>> house. His idea of Arcadia, of an idyllic environment, is the English
>>>> countryside. Yet he spends most of his time in cities, is frequently flying
>>>> from one to another, and has a very cosmopolitan nature
>>>> Stoppard is one of the wittiest and most literate writers of the English
>>>> language, but he left school at an early age and found his education 
>>>> working
>>>> on a provincial English newspaper. (Coincidentally, none of England's
>>>> pre-eminent living playwrights--Harold Pinter, Alan Ayckbourn and Stoppard
>>>> went to university.) Although he has a gift for inventing epigrams,
>>>> metaphors and circumlocutions, in his own reading he has great admiration
>>>> for the understatement of Ernest Hemingway. Stoppard has no background in
>>>> philosophy, philology, physics, metaphysics, mathematics or circus
>>>> acrobatics, but his plays are filled with knowledgeable references to these
>>>> and other specialized fields. In contrast to Pinter and Ayckbourn, he is
>>>> untutored in the techniques of theatre, except for what he learned during
>>>> his years as a drama critic and from working with and watching his
>>>> directors. Yet his plays have a brilliant theatricality. He is, in fact, an
>>>> exemplary autodidact, and a very quick study.
>>>> In the plays, things are never quite what they seem to be. There are
>>>> plays within plays, and in The Real Thing, a play outside the one we are
>>>> watching. The image is that of an endless series of Chinese boxes or an
>>>> exercise in recursion. Time plays tricks, as past and present coexist and
>>>> sometimes brush against each other on the same stage. In many of his plays,
>>>> there are echoes of his previous writings. The subject matter may shift 
>>>> from
>>>> moral philosophy to quantum physics, but the voice is that of the author
>>>> caught in the act of badinage, arguing himself in and out of a quandary.
>>>> Most of his plays are inspired by a single central image (philosophy as
>>>> gymnastics, a madman who thinks he has a symphony orchestra in his head).
>>>> But, as the plays evolve, they become prisms, reflecting and refracting the
>>>> author's ingenuity. Is Stoppard too clever by half, an intellectual rather
>>>> than an emotional playwright? He confronts this and related questions 
>>>> during
>>>> our conversations.
>>>> When I talked to Stoppard in December 1994 in New York, he was on the
>>>> brink of a very busy season. Hapgood, in its new version, was opening the
>>>> following evening in Lincoln Center Theater's intimate Mitzi Newhouse
>>>> Theater in a production starring Stockard Channing. That was to be followed
>>>> several months later by Arcadia at Lincoln Center's large Vivian Beaumont
>>>> Theater. Arcadia was a continuing success in London, and in February Indian
>>>> Ink, his stage version of his radio play, In the Native State, was 
>>>> scheduled
>>>> to open in the West End.
>>>> Arcadia is one of his most ambitious and satisfying plays, a prismatic
>>>> exploration of English history, horticulture, the chaos theory and the
>>>> difference between the classical and romantic traditions. In the subtext 
>>>> are
>>>> such issues as the pursuit of epiphany and the nature of genius. Along the
>>>> way, people keep leaping to the wrong conclusions, which heightens the
>>>> hilarity and the complexity. One of the many mysteries is who did what to
>>>> whom in the game room or, rather, the game book, where Lord Byron, as a
>>>> guest in this elegant country house, is recorded as having shot a hare. At
>>>> the center of the play is an historian, Hannah Jarvis, but she is only one
>>>> of a houseful of kaleidoscopic characters that emerge from the playwright's
>>>> fervid imagination.
>>>> In contrast to Arcadia, Hapgood had not been a critical success in its
>>>> original production in London (in 1988). Since then, Stoppard had revised
>>>> the play and clarified the plot. This devious comedy-mystery equates the
>>>> wave-particle theory of light with the doubledealing world of espionage. 
>>>> The
>>>> new version is 20 minutes shorter and clues the audience earlier that the
>>>> spy named Ridley might have a double. In this Rubik's cube of a play, there
>>>> are triple, perhaps even quadruple agents and a multiplidty of secret
>>>> identities.
>>>> After sudden shifts in his busy schedule, the peripatetic playwright was
>>>> in a suite in a New York hotel, prepared for a long conversation. He lit 
>>>> the
>>>> first of many cigarettes. His body was reasonably at rest, his mind
>>>> restlessly in motion.
>>>> MEL GUSSOW: You've said, "If there's a central idea in Hapgood, it is
>>>> the proposition that in each of our characters is the working majority of a
>>>> dual personality, part of which is always there in a submerged state."
>>>> TOM STOPPARD: That was the hypothesis which generated the play
>>>> itself--that the dual nature of light: works for people as .well: as 
>>>> things,
>>>> and the one you meet in public is simply the working majority of that
>>>> person. It's a conceit. It may have some truth to it.
>>>> And the dual personality doesn't refer simply to counter-spies, but to
>>>> Hapgood herself and others.
>>>> It's not really dual personality. It's just that one chooses to "be" one
>>>> part of oneself, and not another part of oneself. One has a public self and
>>>> a submerged self. It's that sort of duality.
>>>> Is one real, the other false?
>>>> No, they're both part of the whole person.
>>>> And it's something other than multiple personalities.
>>>> It's not multiple personalities. It's a complex personality only part of
>>>> which runs the show.
>>>> Is that true in your life as well?
>>>> Well, I wouldn't have the presumption to exempt myself [laughs] from
>>>> this general rule.
>>>> When you were a journalist, you operated both as a critic and as an
>>>> interviewer, and you used different names.
>>>> I did, only because it seemed a bit second-rate to write too many things
>>>> on the same page. It wasn't that I was trying to conceal half of myself. 
>>>> But
>>>> the thesis is really to do with people's temperaments. Their personal
>>>> histories, like my personal history, is not central to the idea at all--the
>>>> fact that I was born into one language, and grew up in another, and so on.
>>>> That doesn't sound irrelevant by any means, but ifs not supposed to be a
>>>> comment about that kind of life, about my kind of life.
>>>> Do all your plays have an element of autobiography?
>>>> I wonder. Perhaps it's something which it's impossible to escape, and
>>>> one shouldn't protest against it, though I wouldn't have thought 
>>>> Rosencrantz
>>>> and Guildenstern [Are Dead] had anything autobiographical in it. I'm not
>>>> really the right kind of writer to oblige such a speculation because the
>>>> area in which I feed off myself is really much more to do with thoughts I
>>>> have had rather than days I have lived.
>>>> A number of misconceptions have sprung up about you and your work, that
>>>> your plays are divorced from your own life; also that you're very
>>>> intellectual and unemotional. One certainly doesn't feel that in the scene
>>>> in which Hapgood is so moved that she cries.
>>>> That particular duality has become a bit of a cliche about me. It's
>>>> rather a high-tech production of Hapgood, so it does encourage that view of
>>>> the work.
>>>> But there is a heart there.
>>>> I don't think you would bother to write about it if it was about robots.
>>>> It's only interesting because they're human beings.
>>>> In searching for the arc of your career, I made a list of the principal
>>>> subjects in the plays: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, theatre-philosophy; 
>>>> The
>>>> Real Inspector Hound, theatre-journalism; Traveslies, lit-phil; Jumpers,
>>>> phil-gym; Dirty Linen, pol-sex; Night and Day, journ-pol; Every Good Boy
>>>> Deserves Favor, music-pol; Cahoot's Macbeth, theatre-pol; The Real Thing,
>>>> theatre-love; Hapgood, sci-spy; Arcadia, lit-math-hortarch; Indian Ink,
>>>> lit-art-pol-soc. It seems that the plays are becoming more inclusive or
>>>> expansive.
>>>> And yet Indian Ink is actually a very intimate play. It's a play of
>>>> intimate scenes. There's something working against the notion that the 
>>>> plays
>>>> are expanding in them horizons. There is a lot of lit in the plays and a 
>>>> lot
>>>> of phil, which I think is a fair comment on what I'm made up of.
>>>> A lot of lit and phil and more and more sci and phys.
>>>> I've got a funny feeling the sci and phys are a phase, like delinquency,
>>>> which one goes through.
>>>> It's lasted two plays.
>>>> Exactly, it's two plays. Two suggests purpose, misleadingly.
>>>> One is singular, two is a coincidence, three is a trend.
>>>> In the case of those two plays, they began because I stubbed my toe
>>>> against two pieces of information or two areas of science which I found
>>>> really interested me. It didn't seem to be a release of some scientist
>>>> within me. On the contrary, it seemed to be going against what really
>>>> interests me, what I choose to read, and so on. I thought that quantum
>>>> mechanics and chaos mathematics suggested themselves as quite interesting
>>>> and powerful metaphors for human behavior--not just behavior, but about the
>>>> way, in the latter case, in which it suggested a determined life, a life
>>>> ruled by determinism, and a life which is subject simply to random causes
>>>> and effects. Those two ideas about life were not irreconcilable. Chaos
>>>> mathematics is precisely to do with the unpredictability of determinism.
>>>> Hifalutin' words, but it's actually a very fascinating door, a view through
>>>> a cracked-open door. Pinning myself down to your question: I have no sense
>>>> of looking for a third such fascinating scientific metaphor, and I have no
>>>> reason to suppose that I'll stub my toe on a third one.
>>>> How did you stub your toe against those two?
>>>> Casually.
>>>> Books in an airport?
>>>> I joke like that, but it's not one book on one day. My life is sectioned
>>>> off into hot flushes, pursuits of this or that. Rather in the same way as a
>>>> year ago or more, a fairly quiescent interest in or sympathy towards Roman
>>>> poetry and literature of antiquity suddenly had its turn. I think it turned
>>>> into something more obsessive through reading about A. E. Housman, again
>>>> somebody whom I had read for years on and off. That was another quiescent
>>>> interest.
>>>> Do you read Latin?
>>>> I can't say I read Latin. I studied Latin up to what we call in England
>>>> A level. So it's not gibberish to me. But I read it with cribs. What I 
>>>> enjoy
>>>> is reading a particular poem or a poet in numerous translations, to see how
>>>> different translators try to find the original. There's a play to be 
>>>> written
>>>> about translation, I think.
>>>> For your own translations, do you always work from a literal version?
>>>> Yes. I've done two Schnitzlers, a Nestroy and a Molnar, and I worked on
>>>> a Lorca. It doesn't feel like much over 30 years. Years and years ago, one
>>>> of my resolutions--now a failed resolution was to learn a language well
>>>> enough, Russian by choice, not simply for purposes of translation but so
>>>> that I could read things the way they were meant to be understood.
>>>> And what have you done about that?
>>>> Nothing. I postponed reading War and Peace until I could read Russian.
>>>> The result is now I cannot read Russian and I have not read War and Peace.
>>>> Perhaps you need a long sabbatical.
>>>> I don't know about these sabbaticals. My ambition is to retire, and has
>>>> been for ages. When I say retire I mean just pladdly writing at my own 
>>>> speed
>>>> without owing anything to anybody, without anybody waiting for what I'm
>>>> writing. I never seem to manage to do that. I think it's a temperamental
>>>> defect. That's pretty clear by now.
>>>> To return to Arcadia, where did it begin? With James Gleick's book,
>>>> Chaos?
>>>> I think so. At the same time, I was thinking about Classicism and
>>>> Romanticism as opposites in style, taste, temperament, art. I remember
>>>> talking to a friend of mine, looking at his bookshelves, saying there's a
>>>> play, isn't there, about the way that retrospectively one looks at poetry,
>>>> painting, gardening, and speaks of classical periods and the romantic
>>>> revolution, and so on. Particularly when one starts dividing people up into
>>>> classical temperaments and romantic temperaments--and I suppose it's not
>>>> that far from Hapgood in a way. The romantic temperament has a classical
>>>> person wildly signalling, and vice versa.
>>>> You and I tend to talk about all this as if it really works like that,
>>>> as if there's this acorn that you find somewhere and put manure around, and
>>>> water, and hope it grows into some kind of sapling, and so on and so forth.
>>>> It doesn't seem to me to be that kind of orderly natural development.
>>>> No single acorn?
>>>> It's more than that. I have the feeling that you throw the acorn away at
>>>> some point. You encourage me to talk about a book or a thought which
>>>> generates everything that follows. It's true in a limited sense, but an
>>>> alternative way of making a picture of the process would be to say that 
>>>> it's
>>>> something that starts you up, like a motor gets started up, like a cranking
>>>> handle. Then you throw the handle away, and drive off down the road
>>>> somewhere and see where the road goes.
>>>> What's an acorn that you've discarded?
>>>> When it comes to it, I don't think Arcadia says very much about these
>>>> two sides of the human personality or temperament. I don't think it's in 
>>>> the
>>>> play. It's by no means in the foreground. And yet, it's firing all around
>>>> the target, making a pattern around the target.
>>>> Where does the texture start? Suddenly horticulture enters, and then
>>>> Lord Byron. You didn't set out to write a play about horticulture and 
>>>> Byron?
>>>> No, I didn't, but I had read one or two books about Byron over the
>>>> years, and I was reading them with a faint sense of undisclosed purpose. [
>>>> suppose if you're my kind of writer you're always working. One's leisure
>>>> reading is subconsciously purposeful.
>>>> You still write in longhand and then dictate it into a tape recorder?
>>>> Yes. I do exactly that with new work, but when I'm rewriting or changing
>>>> things, I now prefer to give my secretary lots and lots of pages with
>>>> longhand and squiggles, "insert here." I love working on a typescript. I
>>>> love the power of the blue pencil. "This is rubbish, take it out. Put this
>>>> in. Turn it around."
>>>> Is it a canard that you're a conservative?
>>>> Would it be one? I always thought of myself as a conservative, not in a
>>>> sort of ideological way. I'm really a bit of a failure talking about
>>>> politics because I never get into the subject or issues in the manner in
>>>> which a responsible citizen really ought to. I respond in some other way
>>>> aesthetically even, certainly emotionally. Emotionally I like to conserve. 
>>>> I
>>>> don't like impulsive change. But what I like and don't like certainly
>>>> doesn't divide up into things that the Conservative Party or the Labor 
>>>> Party
>>>> does.
>>>> I was very pleased with Mrs. Thatcher at the beginning. I thought of her
>>>> as being a subversive influence, which I found very welcome. The
>>>> Wilson-Callaghan pre-Thatcher years in English politics I thought were
>>>> nauseating. I thought politicians had become people one didn't bother to
>>>> listen to because they seemed desperately anxious not to expose their 
>>>> flanks
>>>> to any side. There were very few unqualified statements of intent. I loved
>>>> the way she came in. I was very personally interested in the whole saga of
>>>> print unions, for example, a huge corrupt scandal which government after
>>>> government wouldn't tackle.
>>>> Which brings us to [Rupert] Murdoch as well. I think he's a very had
>>>> influence on English, or indeed global, cultural life. Ten years ago, he 
>>>> was
>>>> a sort of hero for me, for sending the printers packing. The printers were
>>>> making newspapers into an impossible economic proposition, and I love
>>>> newspapers. I was excited when Murdoch came in his Australian underhanded
>>>> way with a lot of money behind him and just destroyed them. It was well
>>>> overdue.
>>>> You've been so strong on human rights. What about human rights for
>>>> printers?
>>>> I don't think you have a human right to cheat and steal. There were
>>>> printers signing on as Mickey Mouse. I just think they pushed their luck.
>>>> Murdoch said, it's not a union, it's a protection racket. I think that was
>>>> probably quite fair.
>>>> But then you turned against Murdoch.
>>>> That's part of a shift of feeling about the press as a whole. Night and
>>>> Day contains statements which are still flourished. I read one last week by
>>>> people who want to leave the press completely untrammelled. I don't know
>>>> what I want now. I've arrived at a kind of defensive position, which is not
>>>> entirely where I stand intellectually. I've decided that getting cross 
>>>> about
>>>> the press is like getting cross about the Flat Earth Society. It's become 
>>>> an
>>>> awful joke. What I find upsetting about the notorious end of the British
>>>> press is what it says about the readership. I think the tabloid press treat
>>>> their readers almost as if they are morons. And it's awful the way the
>>>> readers don't seem to mind.
>>>> You've said, "Journalism is the last line of defense in this country."
>>>> I think that's still true. I think people would be getting away with
>>>> much more, were it not for newspapers blowing the whistle, or just being
>>>> there to observe.
>>>> Could you imagine having stayed in journalism and not being a
>>>> playwright?
>>>> No. Looking at it now, I would think of that as an unhappy outcome, not
>>>> because I love the theatre, in quotes, but because it was wonderful to work
>>>> for myself and not have to be accountable to somebody. I have a formulation
>>>> about the luck we've had, which is that people like myself appear to have
>>>> promoted a recreation into a career. We're getting away with it, and it's
>>>> the getting away with it part which I don't want to lose. It seems quite
>>>> capricious, the way one profession is rewarded over another one. There's an
>>>> evolution in every kind of society, particularly now in what we call the
>>>> free-market society, where certain pursuits are amazingly over-rewarded.
>>>> Being a popular singer, or in a band. There's no logic in it.
>>>> For you, having chosen playwriting, it's a kind of super freelance.
>>>> You're not beholden to anyone.
>>>> No. I'm one of the people who fall into the over-rewarded category, I
>>>> suppose. I don't coast on it. I work harder than I used to when I was a
>>>> reporter. But it feels different. I do it for myself.
>>>> You've talked about writing a play about your growing up in India. Is
>>>> Indian Ink the play?
>>>> No. I had talked about writing about the ethos of empire, and I suppose
>>>> that's a very good example of what we were speaking about earlier: the 
>>>> acorn
>>>> hasn't been thrown away. But it's not really just that. It's much more an
>>>> intimate play than a polemical play. One kids oneself along that every
>>>> little shred of reference to the larger subject resonates through the whole
>>>> piece, and enlarges the play. That's just a kind of sweet thought by the
>>>> playwright.
>>>> Does it surprise you that you've dealt with so many different subjects?
>>>> No. I'm a bit of a gadfly. Different things catch my interest for a
>>>> while, and I have a hot flush about it, and something else catches my
>>>> interest. Of course, a gadfly is not the ultimate compliment.
>>>> It borders on the dilettante.
>>>> Precisely. What we're leaving out: The cake is upside down. Theatre is a
>>>> popular art form, it's part of the world of relief and release, of
>>>> entertainment. That's what it's for. The other bit of the cake which is to
>>>> do with formulating and promulgating and examining and revealing issues,
>>>> life that's a program that can be continued through other means: 
>>>> journalism,
>>>> television, essays. There's a case for the view that if you've chosen to
>>>> work for the theatre, your fundamental objective is to be part of an art
>>>> form that diverts, entertains and instructs rather than that you're engaged
>>>> in teaching your fellow citizens certain lessons.
>>>> You said that if you wanted to change the world, the last thing you
>>>> would do is write a play.
>>>> What I really meant was that if there is a local concrete problem which
>>>> you want to change, yes. I said that, but I'm not sure that it's entirely
>>>> watertight. Maybe the way to continue our conversation about newspapers
>>>> would be to write a play.
>>>> Is plot still difficult for you?
>>>> Can't you tell? [Laughs.] With Arcadia I got lucky. I didn't know it
>>>> would work out like that. Like most writers like most people-- if I could
>>>> live a slightly different kind of life, it would make an enormous amount of
>>>> difference to how much I wrote, and the quality of what I wrote.
>>>> Occasionally you get into a period where mentally you're living with this
>>>> play, nothing is interrupting you, and all the possibilities the neurons or
>>>> nerve ends you're aware of them all and, consciously or subconsciously, you
>>>> make the best possible use of them. If you have enough solitude and
>>>> concentration, you can make the best of the opportunity. But a lot of the
>>>> time I'm writing in a kind of harassed, interrupted way. I came to the
>>>> conclusion the other day that the information is being fed in the wrong
>>>> order in the second act of Indian Ink. I came back from Hapgood and looked
>>>> at it for an hour and a half before I fell asleep. It's all done in the
>>>> space of an hour here, an hour there. That's not how to do these things.
>>>> You might say from the evidence that you thrive on that process.
>>>> Well, no. With Arcadia, I had a really good period of time, where
>>>> somehow I could keep it all in view and look further down the road and see
>>>> where things were heading, and manipulate the material so I could intersect
>>>> properly. The more I got into it, the more I realized that this was going 
>>>> to
>>>> work as a piece of storytelling. Hapgood was a kind of struggle from the
>>>> word go, and I was still dealing with it at Lincoln Center, trying to
>>>> explain, simplify. We started off by referring to it as a melodrama. The 
>>>> way
>>>> you label something is very helpful; it gets you out of the corner. Once I
>>>> began to think of Hapgood as a melodrama, I felt much more comfortable with
>>>> it, because it is melodramatic. It's not satiric about the spy business. It
>>>> operates on a heightened, slightly implausible level of life. It's probably
>>>> the only play I've written, as far as I can remember offhand, in which
>>>> somebody shoots somebody else on stage.
>>>> It has to work on that level for the audience to accept it.
>>>> It absolutely does. The thing about melodrama is that if the audience
>>>> makes the right decision about it, they accept everything. If they make the
>>>> wrong decision about it early on, then the drama actually becomes silly.
>>>> How would you categorize Arcadia?
>>>> Because I was happy with it anyway, I didn't need to label it. I didn't
>>>> need to get myself off the hook.
>>>> Some people think it's your best play.
>>>> I know they do. I think that's what they're talking about: the story
>>>> works best.
>>>> But you know some of your plays are better than others.
>>>> Of course. And in spite of defects I'm aware of and would like to
>>>> correct on all of them, I also think that some of them actually are good,
>>>> better than good sometimes. I'm now contradicting myself. If I have to talk
>>>> about them at all, which I never volunteer to do, I'd rather use a phrase
>>>> like "madcap comedy," to dissemble. In a much simpler sense, there's a
>>>> modest person hiding a proud person, I suppose. I never thought I would
>>>> manage to write a play at all. It was something I wanted to do, but I was
>>>> astonished when I managed to do it. Just seemed to be something that would
>>>> be too difficult for me to do when I was starting out.
>>>> You used to say, and I never entirely believed it, that all your
>>>> characters sounded like you.
>>>> I used to say it because I used to think it was true, and maybe it was
>>>> true in those days. i think everybody in Night and Day, sounds like me, for
>>>> example. It's less true now. This was literally true of Night and Day in 
>>>> one
>>>> isolated case: I took a speech away from one character and gave it to
>>>> another, and it made no difference. I just needed somebody to say something
>>>> at that point. In that sense, they were all speaking with my voice. In a
>>>> limited way, you might say that they were interchangeable. So I meant it
>>>> when I said it, but I wouldn't say it nowadays.
>>>> It's not true of Arcadia, and it's not true of Indian Ink.
>>>> No, it's not.
>>>> Years ago, at the time of The Real Thing, Mike Nichols said you were one
>>>> of the few happy people he knew. When I mentioned that to you, you were
>>>> offended by the word happy, you said that you were as unhappy as the next
>>>> man.
>>>> Boasting about my unhappiness!
>>>> Are you a happy man?
>>>> Yes. I'm just looking at the word happy for a moment. Mike was always
>>>> tremendously pleased by the definition of happiness in that play. 
>>>> "Happiness
>>>> is equilibrium. Shift your weight." Attaining your happiness, if you're
>>>> talking about me, is learning that lesson. You try not to stand in the way
>>>> of the onrushing train, to change the metaphor. But in fact I suppose what
>>>> you're remembering is that happiness seems to imply a turning away from
>>>> whatever might compromise your happiness. One is exposed naked in the winds
>>>> of the world, and everybody around you has got problems. Some are acute,
>>>> some are less serious than others. You live in the little world of your
>>>> family and the larger world of your colleagues and the huge world of
>>>> newspaper and television news. So happiness is not really a very adequate
>>>> word. When I said I felt blessed by good fortune, that's generally the
>>>> truth. Clearly your life and everyone's life is full of things that make 
>>>> you
>>>> unhappy from time to time. You just deal with them.
>>>> That reminds me again of the boy in your play, Where Are They Now?
>>>> That indeed is the play where that character says happiness is a passing
>>>> shift of emphasis. I do have an idyllic vision of life. Whether one has a
>>>> right to live it is another matter. It's to do with self-reliance. It's
>>>> cultivating your garden without being pulled, without having one's sleeve
>>>> tugged by what's happening outside the wall.
>>>> PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): Tom Stoppard
>>>> PHOTOS (BLACK & WHITE): Classical or romantic? You be the judge in
>>>> Stoppard's Arcadia, seen here in two productions directed by Trevor Nunn. 
>>>> At
>>>> right, Felicity Kendal and Samuel West appeared at Britain's National
>>>> Theatre. Below, Billy Crudup and Jennifer Dundas at New York's Lincoln
>>>> Center Theater.
>>>> PHOTOS (BLACK & WHITE): "Hapgood is not satiric about the spy businesszz
>>>> It operates on a heightened, slightly implausible level of life." Above, Jo
>>>> Ann Carney, Dan LaMorte and Gus Bustinice, left to right, in a production
>>>> directed by Mary Zimmerman at Chicago's Center Theatre Ensemble. Below,
>>>> David Lansbury and Stockard Channing in Jack O'Brien's Lincoln Center
>>>> Theater staging.
>>>> PHOTOS (BLACK & WHITE): "I'm a bit of a gadfly." Above, a scene from
>>>> Rosencranz and Gaildenstern Are Dead, in a production at the New Jersey
>>>> Shakespeare Festival; which featured, from left, Davis Hall, Bub Ari, Eric
>>>> Tavaris, Eduardo Patino and John Nichols. Above right, Michael Gross and
>>>> Linda Purl in The Real Thing at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood. Below
>>>> right, lsiah Whitlock Jr. and DeAnn Meats in Night and Day at San
>>>> Francisco's American Conservatory Theater.
>>>> ~~~~~~~~
>>>> Mel Gussow, who writes about theatre for the New York Times, is the
>>>> author of Conversations with Pinter and Conversations with Stoppard (both
>>>> Limelight Editions). This article is excerpted by permission from the
>>>> latter, which was published last month.
>>>>  ------------------------------
>>>> Copyright of American Theatre is the property of Theatre Communications
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>>>> Back
>>>>  ------------------------------
>>>> Windows Live™ Hotmail®:…more than just e-mail. Check it 
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>>>  --
>>> Christopher W. Jones
>>> Towson University '09
>>> Dartmouth College '08

Christopher W. Jones
Towson University '09
Dartmouth College '08

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