This past Monday I took part in a Small Theatre Alliance of Boston Open Mic Night at the Charlestown Working Theater. I brought in a section of a new full length play I'm working on called Burning Up the Dictionary, which I'm billing as "a story of language, love, lust and loss." I'll be having a round table of the entire thing at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City next month, so this was a great opportunity to test-drive a section of it in front of an audience and see how things play in front of an audience as I work on it in preparation for the Lark. I've been developing it through the Playwrights' Commons/Company One Playwrights' Playground this past summer (which was quite a blessing), but this was the first time I'd heard it in front of an audience as opposed to workshop participants.
This past weekend I attended two seminars taught by Rory Miller. Rory is the author of Meditations on Violence, and more recently, Facing Violence, both of which are among the best books I've read on the subject (and both of which I ended up citing quite a bit in my dissertation). In this post I'll be discussing some of his teaching and methodology as well as some of the implications. I'm responding from the perspective of a theatre and performance scholar who specializes in the representations of violence as much as from the perspective of a martial artist, self defense instructor, and fight director.