Session 1: Stein in time

I have not been able to AD the last few years since moving to Minnesota, and I am so very happy to be back!

When we settled into ye olde yellow chair circle, now featuring RED chairs, which will continue to be referred to as yellow chairs, now signifying the type of chair, rather than the color. But I digress, once settled into the sacred yellow chair circle, we began to begin with Gertrude Stein.

Style & Philosophy Notes

Stein desired “to make a play the essence of what happened” by telling “what could be told if one did not tell anything.” She rejected anything that gave a point of reference such as linear thought and causality in favor of a form that stresses the rhythmic motion of language. She felt that as spectators in the theater, we are always either catching up or jumping ahead emotionally.

In the reader this year: Every Afternoon, Not Slightly, and Reread Another A Play

In our discussion we identified these techniques that would be used by a small group making a Stein-inspired piece:

  • Wordplay including, rhythmic language, rhyme (Internal and end rhyme), puns and repetition.
  • Abstract and cubist structure
  • Emotional emphasis and direct-experience
  • Simple sentences

Some related games we played this year included Quartets, disrupting everyday speaking patterns and Word Jazz.

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