Theater Farts

Gone Fishing or Something about Stalin

Well okay my dear darlings, I have to write this entry in a subway car as some kind of alternative-ass-writing artist. It’s late, alright, and I got drunk in the city, so sue me. I haven’t had my Port for quite some time now, so whatever you say, I do not care. I just got abused by a drag queen, kissed by somebody I was and I think still am attracted to, so, of course, I am drunk, what do you expect me to be after spending the night surrounded by all these high heels on the rocks, I mean… oh never mind… This should be a perfect time for me to write all those five reasons why you should wear heels at least once in your lifetime, but I won’t be doing that, because, my dears, I just got some Mexican musicians entertain my loneliness in this subway car, and… And what the heck are they doing here, at this hour, singing in a subway? Oh wait, it’s already New Year and I believe it’s bright outside. So, of course, it must be another day. So my dears, I will just get another sip from my strategically covered water bottle which holds a residue of some kind of alcohol, but I digress saying that. And I digress not because I am drunk at 9AM on a Monday morning, no. I digress because the alcohol I am drinking right now is not alcohol anymore; I am pretty sure about that. It tastes as some kind of weirdly flavored liquid that came out from those ice cubes I got into my drink just before I left that place I had to leave many hours before I got myself this unbelievably drunk. Wait, what is that? A finger nail? Oh whatever, I will just pretend that it’s a cherry in my drink, but enough about it. There are many more important things to discuss here, like, for example, world hunger or what dress one or another celebrity wore at one or another Globe or whatever they’re called now.

Alright, Plastikoff decided to ride this train to the very end, just because he suddenly realized that he needs some smoked fish that goes perfectly well with all this drunken debauchery. And you can get that particular smoked fish on Coney Island only. Why only there? I do not know. Maybe because the ocean is right there if suddenly you feel very adventurous after eating that fish.

Okay, I got the fish and I poured another glass of Port into my water bottle just because I can. Mondays are dark in theaters, so I don’t feel guilty drinking at this hour. Got it? Good.

The alcohol level in my system is high enough to be able to speak about serious art and when I say that, I really mean it. To understand the Russian soul you really need to get drunk to the point that you don’t remember yourself. And when you don’t remember yourself, you remember things that matter the most. There was a reason why Stalin made all of his ministers drunk at his parties. He would listen to them. Some of them, of course, would not show up at the next party or anywhere else for that matter, because, my dears, Stalin would make them disappear as that smoke on an early morning blown by the wind and I am not talking about that kind of smoke you smoke your fish in. In Vino Veritas, that’s right, and for most of them that “veritas” ended up in Siberia. And why the heck I am speaking about Siberia all of a sudden? Is this because its winter and I feel quite cold sitting here all by myself on Brighton Beach? Or is it that there is something else I want to tell you about the Russian soul?

Now why my dear darlings am I bubbling so much about drinking, Stalin and Siberia you’d ask? Well because that was the time when theater in Soviet countries was booming. This was the time when the greatest theater traditions were born.

Since everything was censored greatly and there was literally no book in press that would not use a quote from Marx or Engels, yes, that’s true, a quote had to be included somewhere in the beginning of any book going to press otherwise it would be not released, artists were becoming very creative about how and what they wanted to say to their audiences. People started looking for alternative ways of getting information they were missing because of the censorship. Artists during that time began learning how to speak and create “in codes.” Nothing would get passed through Soviet censorship, you know that already. It’s almost like in today’s United Sates where every camera on your computers is regulated by that invisible man who oh so wants to get into your naked business. Why else would you use your camera for? (Smiley face?)

But returning to the Soviet times, there were, of course, certain authors that would not pass the censorship even with those quotes, but this entry is not about them. We are talking about theater now. There were theater directors who put a classic play (let’s say something Shakespearean) with some hidden messages in it critiquing the Soviet regime. This is where a tradition of a theater-director-who-was-able-to-tell-something-else-“in code”-while-putting-up-a-much-known-play-at-the-time was born. People flocked to theaters to watch those shows and “read” those hidden messages inside performances. People literally had to wait in line over night in freezing cold to get those tickets to see one or another play. Tickets were sold out the very first day of the month when theaters would release those seats for sell. If you missed that first day, you had to wait for another month to see one or another production. If you were lucky, you were able to snatch a ticket for a show which would happen sometime at the end of the month. Those tickets, most likely, were for standing-in-the-isle “seats” only. This was the time when Director’s Theater was born. A director was the story teller, the stage was his/her canvas/book and audiences came to see what a director wanted to say to them about the situation they were living in.

What happened next with theater in Soviet countries and why you most likely will hear a director’s name attached to a production there first, I am going to discuss in my later entries when I am less drunk and not as cold as I am right now. For some reason I am still entertaining an idea of a winter swim in the ocean, but let me get that fish eaten first before my neighborhood cats realize what’s happening here.

The fish is done but for some reason I still feel like I need to add something before I get completely surrounded by those cats. I will just say blatantly, today is a perfect time for the United States to catch up on all that lost time when Director’s Theater was cultivated in those Soviet countries “everybody” here still calls Russia. I am going to elaborate about it a little bit more in other entries but for now I am leaving you with this fishy smell. Tah-dah

Should I still go for a swim?

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