... the audience is really the art
Last weekend we went to a see The Government Inspector at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Not Shakespeare but really good anyway). This play-going all began when I needed to see a couple different productions for THET 101 at HCC. At one point in that theater class my professor mentioned that I should check out Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe when I was looking for a monologue. I Googled it and loved the part of the play I found. Although I intend to, I've never actually read/ seen the whole play, but the portion I came across that someone posted is pretty great. Since it pops into my head at plays I looked it up again and decided to share it here too. [Googled it again actually and despite what Blogger might try to tell me that is in fact a word]
|Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans|
The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe
written by Jane Wagner & Lily Tomlin
[Trudy the Bag Lady has alien friends who try to understand the exceedingly strange human mind. Near the play's beginning she explains about these space chums:]
"Next to my trances they love goin' through my shopping bags. Once they found this old box of Cream of Wheat. I told 'em, "A box of cereal." But they saw it as a picture of infinity. You know how on the front is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat and on that box is a picture of that guy holding up a box of Cream of Wheat...
We think so different. They find it hard to grasp some things that come easy to us, because they simply don't have our frame of reference. I show 'em this can of Campbell's tomato soup. I say, "This is soup." Then I show 'em a picture of Andy Warhol's painting of a can of Campbell's tomato soup. I say, "This is art." "This is soup." "And this is art." Then I shuffle the two behind my back. Now what is this?[Then near the play's ending, Trudy says:]
No, this is soup and this is art!
Did I tell you what happened at the play? We were at the back of the theater, standing there in the dark, all of a sudden I feel one of 'em tug my sleeve, whispers, "Trudy, look." I said, "Yeah, goose bumps. You definitely got goose bumps. You really like the play that much?" They said it wasn't gave 'em goose bumps, it was the audience.
I forgot to tell 'em to watch the play; they'd been watching the audience! Yeah, to see a group of strangers sitting together in the dark, laughing and crying about the same things...that just knocked 'em out. They said, "Trudy, the play was soup...the audience...art."
So they're taking goose bumps home with 'em. Goose bumps! Quite a souvenir. I like to think of them out there in the dark, watching us. Sometimes we'll do something and they'll laugh. Sometimes we'll do something and they'll cry. And maybe one day we'll do something so magnificent, everyone in the universe will get goose bumps."I've nothing much to add and I talked about the actual play already, I have just always really liked that monologue's metaphor.