Jeffrey Carl Faden (jeffreyatw) wrote,
Jeffrey Carl Faden
jeffreyatw

Vinegar Tom

Experimental theater is everything I hate about theater, not from concentrate.

I just came back from watching Vinegar Tom, which, from what I could gather, was an extremist feminist play about - what else - how men supposedly think women should act, and, in turn how men supposedly treat them. To me, both the experience and the message was like getting someone else's shit rubbed in my face for two hours.

First thing I hated: burlesque people wandering around the theater, making passes toward audience members and publicly humiliating them by proclaiming how rigid and un-fun they are. Of course, through the performance, they heighten the otherwise dull experience by moaning, shouting, and uttering other such crap in annoying, fake, lispy accents.

Second: The obvious portrayal of men as Hitler and women justified in proclaiming their lusty or conformist actions, depending whichever "side" they're on. In the end, they're all chained up and screaming and hung and tortured and eventually all dead, or something, except for that one bitch you learn to hate throughout the whole thing, who's completely redeemed. Basically, it's yet another run-of-the-mill sad-fest with an obligatory bad ending.

Third: Those long, drawn-out murky sequences where, after the mood has abruptly changed, people take upwards of 15 minutes to drag themselves across the stage, exhibiting depression or some other form of chaos. Yeah, really involving. I fell asleep (only to be woken up, expectedly, by someone's scream).

Fourth: The Amish.

Forgive me for acting sheltered and oblivious, but this sort of stuff is unnecessary to sit through. I understand that millions of people were killed in the Holocaust, and I understand that people are mistreated and tortured all the time. I've been learning this shit my entire life, and I've been trying to live a life where this sort of stuff is in the past, and treated as history, and I try to promote progressive values where men are as much objects as women are.

Well then, I guess that's what this play was supposed to be. A history lesson. I wish they'd told me. I should have been put off by the fact that it was experimental theater in the first place. And I also wish they'd stop being dicks about this sorta material.

One thing the play did make me do is think - think about what kind of person writes a play like this - and it depresses me. Those who seem the most accepting and the most outspoken end up alienating someone sooner or later. This didn't make me feel sorry for anyone. It mostly made me feel about those who are defined as "smart" and "intellectual" and all those other terms we've come to enjoy. If those who are so intelligent end up making things where they have to shout in your face to get a point across, how am I ever going to live my life while trying to find people who believe in what I like to call "wholesome" values without trying to start shit?
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