updates connected to the book Idylls for a Bare Stage
& to performances of the Idylls
& other initiatives related to the Art of the Poetic Monologue

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Dramatic Recitation" and the Idylls form

This Friday, the collaborative and juxtaposing Murder on the Bare Stage (subject of my entry earlier this month) - in addition to providing chills and thrills, entertainment and suspense, for the weekend before Halloween - has the capability to demonstrate, highlight, and edge defining contours to the Idylls form, through comparison of similar and complementary approaches.

The show is a collaboration with actor Stephen Mead (profiled elsewhere on this blog), combining his specialty in "Dramatic Recitation" of Victorian-era authors - here, violent nerve-wracking scenes from Poe and Dickens and more - with three of my idylls relevant to the overall theme of murder.

Both approaches - "Dramatic Recitation" and the Idyll form - conceive of the verbal element as essential to what live theater still has to offer uniquely, the tingly pleasure of hearing words well-spoken, fantastically-spoken, virtuosity in the delivery of charged language, towards the release in real-time of the power of words.

Murder on the Bare Stage
8pm Friday, October 26th 


3222 11th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

And yet, even with emphasis on the verbal as a mutual starting point for the collaboration, there's variety and illuminating contrasts between "dramatic recitation" and the "shared imagining" approach to the Idyll, as between prose and poetry, and indeed, as between storytelling and poet's theater - or a mixture of it all, contrasts, and combinations.

Here's what to expect for Friday's show, contours highlighted by what's place side by side.

 Murder on the Bare Stage

ACT I: Verse and Blood

3 Victorian Era poets
    W.S. Gilbert "Gentle Alice Brown"
    Lewis Carroll "The Walrus and the Carpenter"
    Edward Lear  5 Limericks

Idyll - "An Old Soldier Cleans his Rifle for the Last Time" 
(vide Walt Whitman)  

"The Murder of Nancy" from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  As adapted for dramatic recitation by Dickens himself, and further adapted by Stephen Mead.

ACT II: How Can a Crime Be Concealed?

Idyll - "A Bandit Plots a Murder by the Road"

Macbeth/Lady Macbeth

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe

Idyll - "A Reveler Walks Home to his Family by Moonlight" 

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