True West – A Reflective Post

truewest_showpage2Back in February I saw a performance of True West (by Theatre Exile) at Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia and following the play I reflected on both the performance itself, and the insider’s info that director Matt Pfeiffer gave to me and my fellow students in my playwright class at Temple. I discovered a draft post and it seems as though I never finished my thoughts, but I do want to remember the struggles, beliefs, and triumphs that Pfeiffer talked to us about, so I thought I’d post the belated reflection:

Last night’s performance of True West was filled with perfect flaws.

The director of the play–Matt Pfeiffer–came to talk to my American Playwrights class today and share his thoughts on the characters and structure of the play and his desire to faithfully represent Sam Shepard’s work. Pfeiffer sounded brilliant and so passionate about his work that it made my chest ache in the way it always does when I get excited about something. It’s a feeling that makes me think I could mesh right into a community like that — as if I could excel if I could only get into that group. The theater community, or maybe I only think of off-Broadway theater when I say this, seems to be forward-thinking and so… weird, in a good way; it seems so passionate in general about getting a message out to that small portion of the public who wants to get closer to art and doesn’t mind (or perhaps revels in) the odd, goofy, experimental potentials of modern theater. Pfeiffer spoke of how he feels a pull toward the work he does because writing plays and putting them on for an audience live is something flawed in and of itself. I think something so flawed like that is riskier, rockier, and so much more exciting and beautiful than a lot of what I’ve encountered on TV or in Hollywood right now. Pfeiffer said that although he loves movies and TV, live plays–for him–are higher up in his “excitement” spectrum of sorts, and from what I’ve seen so far of theater… I can agree.

It’s quite incomplete (a detailed review of the music, stage design, etc. was still to come) but I want to remember how his words made me feel about theater and about life and goals in general. His passion for performance art was uniquely inspiring.


Photo Copyright 2012 Theatre Exile http://www.theatreexile.org/episodes/true-west.html

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