A Theater for “This is Not a Theater”
When I first heard the title of Navin Rawanchaikul’s 2013 FringeArts installation This is Not a Theater, I thought of one of my favorite experimental novels, David Markson’s This is Not a Novel. In it, the narrator, “Writer,” intersperses bits of epigrammatic literary history while laying out the following project:
Writer is pretty much tempted to quit writing.
Writer is weary unto death of making up stories.[. . .]
Writer is equally tired of inventing characters.[. . .]
A novel with no intimation of story whatsoever, Writer would like to contrive.
And with no characters. None.[. . .]
Plotless. Characterless.[. . .]
Actionless, Writer wants it.
Which is to say, with no sequence of events.
Which is to say, with no indicated passage of time.
Then again, getting somewhere in spite of this.
This is Not a Theater takes as its goals, in every case and sense, quite the opposite. In compiling stories told by forty years worth of Plays and Players actors, directors, and stagehands, Rawanchaikul assembles the social meaning of Plays and Players through a comic, music, audio interviews, and this mural-in-progress that you can see when you check out The Living Newspaper: On Location or All the Sex I’ve Ever Had. After the jump, more pics!
Photos courtesy of Navin Rawanchaikul.