Thursday, 10 December 2009

Theatre of the Absurd

Can theatre do anything about climate change? There is something so utterly perfect about this question, so completely of its time, that the article from which it comes, written by Steve Waters in the Guardian theatre blog, should be preserved in a time capsule, so that it may be studied by historians of the future.

Waters’ words express the very particular hubris of the political artist. Sure, climate change is already in the news every day; journalists, activists, politicians and experts are devoting themselves to it; sure, An Inconvenient Truth already reached millions of viewers, grossing nearly $50 million; but if only I, the immortal artist, would produce a play about it in a small London theatre, then things could really get moving. Waters even admits, incredibly, that part of him hopes that the effects of climate change will be really terrible, to demonstrate the importance of his play!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

College Writing for Dummies

A successful college essay is like a declaration of love: it doesn’t matter what you say as long as it sounds right. Once you’ve discovered a formula that works for you, you can use it again and again and expect similar success.

As well as being like a declaration of love, a good essay is also like a magic trick. When a magician says to you, “I’ll bet you don’t think I can make this elephant disappear,” you are liable to think that, yes, making an elephant disappear sounds pretty hard. It’s important to remember, however, that only the worst magician in history would set herself a problem to which she does not have the solution already. Likewise, you must set yourself a goal that appears impossible, but to which you already possess the answer.