I’m making a performance library. It is not for everyone.
I grew up in Franklin, MA which I was taught was the first Public Library in the country. With the advent of the internet that claim seems dubious at best. But it has never dulled the shine on my mythological fantasy with worthy collections.
Imagine a space where you can come to work on a scene or a dance or some other kind of project. Imagine that room that you are rehearsing in, is part of a library. Your movements and actions are in themselves a form of research and knowing. That work should be placed in a context of other rich, diverse histories of practice and thinking. So I want to make a library of live arts. Source material, video documentation, scholarly writings all mushed together in one.
I have the students – over 100 teenagers. Despite living in a culture which was preserved on stage, they have very little frame of reference of what theater can be. I work with them every week to try to inspire them to make things. I tell them that my favorite kind of theater is born out of thinking and doing. To fuel the thinking we need the best resources. In short, I need books.
If you have any old plays, books of monologues, History of theater textbooks, performance studies textbooks, Shakespeare’s complete works, Shakespeare glossaries, anything by or about Shakespeare, make up technique manuals, stage design workbooks, acting editions of odd plays, actor biographies, theory books…If you want to help out, give a shout. Even if all I got were a few copies of Shakespeare books I would be ecstatic and my students would start using them day one next September.