Is it the end of the century, or is it just me? I keep thinking the theater's meant to be a great unifying place that sweeps its vast vision across all of human experience, but all I find when I go is little bits and pieces of— I was going to say "humanity," but that's not exactly the word. Fragments of simulacra of reductions of humanity would be more like it. Not that the theater hasn't always used such tactics; essences and types and quickly glimpsed single-trait roles are all part of its pictorial arsenal. But there used to be an overarching sense of life that justified the simplifying and foreshortening; the little people-bites were steps on the road to conveying something larger about people. Or maybe I've just been missing the point all along, and the whole function of 20th-century art has been to prove that people themselves are in fact only fragments, trapped in an all-encompassing conformist system that can shrink any artist's imaginative horizons to... More >>>