a note to the theatre ricers:
i've received a surprising number of responses about my earlier message and i feel bad because i haven't had time to reply to all of them yet. there is a prevailing misunderstanding in the message i wrote: i didn't write my e-mail in hopes of getting a recount. i didn't write my e-mail to "win supporters" of my point of view. i didn't write it to make people feel bad about the way they vote.
i wrote it because i wanted to call into consciousness how things are now in theatre rice.
here is an excerpt of an e-mail (a history thing) that i sent to one of my friends, in response to her asking me what i thought about chris chen's plays as well as the dramatic skits we've done in the past.
"the dramatic skits we had were very daring and beautiful things, but they all came into being because some members were frustrated with comedy troupe and called for something else (back then termed as "tragedy troupe.") the semesters we put dramatic skits up were only a few years ago but came during a time when theatre rice had NO writers and NO real play submissions to choose from. for two semesters (or was it three, i can't remember?), the only play submission that we had was the street fighter play. that was a time when most of our first generation, older members left. we had a lot of young talent with no strong creative voices yet. our only outlet was the comedy troupe. because of that, we created a mid-semester show that was solely comedy. this mid-semester show (spring 2001) made theatre rice mainstream on campus, we had our first sell-out show, and we saw our first "line that stretches all around dwinelle" later on that semester. the audience loved the comedy. it IS a beautiful thing that i would never want to severe from theatre rice.
but understand that the mid-semester show first came into being during a time when we had no absolutely NO play submissions. we live in a different time now, where we are suddenly overloaded with submissions (a result of our
sudden popularity as well as writer's block.) for every chris chen play that goes up, there are a lot more that actually don't. each play is rejected for a different reason. some are rejected because of length, some because of subject matter (there are two plays in the recent past that weren't able to be put up because they were about LGBT issues and our committee felt that theatre rice wouldn't be able to address those issues honestly... even though the written plays were able to beautifully.) but quite honestly, a lot of good plays are dropped because we don't have room for them. i'm not saying that we should put all these plays in. i just want ourselves to realize that we get more and more quality submissions every semester and unfortunately, we have to drop more and more quality submissions every semester."
i'm not calling for instutionalized forced changes. that would be unnatural. i'm calling for consciousness, at the very least. i want us to be aware that the structure of "comedy mid-sem show" and "mixed assortment of everything showcase" was created during a different time of period of theatre rice. i will stand by all decisions theatre rice makes, but i will question it too. i'm not saying that we don't have the guts to change. i'm just saying, when the time comes...
are we ready or not!
we'll move on because we're always moving, where we'll move to is all up to you.