Browsing All posts tagged under »Apollonian«

Red (Seattle Repertory)

March 1, 2012

1

I am struggling with where to start in my review of Red at the Seattle Repertory. I attended the packed house opening night of Red last evening and this morning my mind is still racing, trying to distill the essence of Red; to quantify the take away as it were, but it is just not that simple. You see writer John Logan, director Richard E. T. White and the extremely talented acting duo of Denis Arndt and Connor Toms have conspired with foresight and malicious intent to make anything that I say, good or bad about the play, more indicative of my qualifications as a witnesser of their art, than the quality of the art itself.

Even as the words begin to form in my head, I hear the commanding voice of Denis’ rendition of abstract painter, Mark Rothko bellowing at me, “What do you see?” I am left to question my own understanding, like Connor Toms portrayal of Rothko’s apprentice Ken. Am I human enough to get it? To feel it? I sit here and find myself reminiscing about an earlier time in my own life. A period when time itself seemed limitless and the thought of hanging out at the local IHOP drinking coffee with friends until 4am, wrestling with deep philosophical quandaries, seemed the most important of activities to attend to. I have to wonder; am I just starved for deep and meaningful conversation or is John Logan's writing compelling enough to instill in me a renewed hunger for those college days and to engage in meaningful dialogue with others?

Red compels us to enter and spend an evening treading deep into the forgotten places, Socratic dialogues, rhetoric, discourse and of course, Nietzsche’s profound but fragile balance between Apollonian (reason and logic) and Dionysian (emotion and experience) elements required to create dramatic Art. Before you let that scare you away from attending the show, know that while the show is about Art, it does so through real visceral human interactions, touching upon many of life’s themes. What is Art? Is it truly in the eye of the beholder or is there a more ethereal quality to it? Do we judge it, or does it judge us, the viewer of it?