We get to choose what to talk about.

There are more interesting things to talk about. Part of the problem with the side bar to the article on Peggy Baker that people are talking about, is that it deflects from some of the very important and difficult things about gender and dance production that Baker raises. Baker made a point in her speech […]

2010 – Thinking about

Year in review and upcoming singing the accumulated list of semi-funny semi-deadly serious movement and/or book titles: Conversational Formalism Romantic Contemporary Presentational Naturalism Casual Formalism Big Dreams, Small Houses: The Small Wooden Shoe Story The General Assembly of Populist Political Avant Garde Entertainment. (GAPPAGE) We refuse to define our terms. Who’s in? some people Patti […]

5. Good fun is worth leaving the house for.

part of a series (never said it was going to be in order.) 5_There is good and bad fun. Good fun is essential. To get it out of the way: Bad fun includes (but may not be limited to): fun that re-enforces, re-enacts or otherwise supports existing oppressive, mean and otherwise shitty power dynamics. Good […]

“Why would someone want to work with you?”

Mission Paradox is rolling out a bunch of big questions. Out of appreciation of that kind of thing, I’m going to try and answer Adam’s questions. I will probably fall behind.First question (abridged): Why would someone want to work with you? (Whole thing here) A while ago, I was thinking a lot about the community […]

2012 Year end – Conjuring Aspirations

Jacob Zimmer for Small Wooden Shoe It’s been 10ish years of Small Wooden Shoe. 10 yearsOf fast, cheap and rough political agit-prop (Delayed Knee Jerk Reactions Series), of hard-boiled live-to-air radio (The Mysterious Death of WB), of Chekhov adaptations (The Orchard), multi-media solo shows (No Secrets) and durational task based performances (Mostly Just Doing the Saturday […]

Art is all the parts.

Mission Paradox has these to very good posts – the first on the sports to church to theatre analogies (those Bears examples still hurt – redemption on Monday?) and then followed it up with Not nearly enough “The implication is this: Art isn’t enough. If you want a career as an artist, or a strong […]

Resisting bureaucratic capitalism

A question that’s been poking at me for a while now. That I need (and maybe I’m not alone) a way to make performances quickly and outside of the structures laid down by the current status quo. To be clear: the status quo, to me (now, here) includes most “working artists” – since we are […]

The value of doing something fast

This seems true. And something I’m trying to figure it out in the theatre. (Galileo, What Keeps Mankind Alive) Beyond the excitement and buzz factor, what’s the value of doing this project so fast? Magazines don’t have money to pay anyone anymore. A lot of people are expected to invest a lot of time to […]

As opposed to irony

We mean what we say, we also mean other things.I’ve been having a problem with irony lately – especially here in Toronto. I want to keep working on it, since I used to like it a lot and felt like it could do some useful things. But recently I’ve been seeing it as a defensive […]

Galileo – Not at all verbatim.

These days (or maybe in the days just passing) there is a desire for truth and/or authenticity that gets worked out in verbatim theatre (also dance) – at the same time as these claims there’s backlash when we find out someone was lying and historical accuracy seems important. David Hare has written a nice piece […]

Audience and Performer – Who needs who

More from 99 – this time as a guest at Parabasis it puts into my mind a bigger question: is there a difference between writing to an audience, writing for an audience and writing about an audience, particularly if you’re engaged in anything at all activist in your work? And should there be only one […]

Not just America, not just journalists

99 Seats is talking about media complaints about the media in Most Everything That’s Wrong With American Journalism.The specifics are helpful and the analysis right on – and connects with a thread I’ve been thinking about for a while. In a large group discussion about, I think, politics and theatre from a year or so ago, […]

No one is going to do it for us.

Artist and writer Chris Dupuis has taken some well aimed swings at a side bar in this weeks NOW. The “who’s the next… Peggy Baker, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan” form is generally a trite move to force a connection. At best it might be an understanding of working in tradition and a way to contextualize […]

Etchell’s on improv

Tim Etchell’s blog at the Guardian continues to be very good: It’s watching this small fraction of inspired improvisations (maybe 3% would be more accurate) that reminds me how lucky I am to work with performers who can do this – this very strange combination of tuning and turning, doing and waiting, acting and not […]

Dedicated to the Revolutions – What I was thinking

EYE MAGAZINE – Christopher Hoile DUBIOUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS THE “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?” AWARD Small Wooden Shoe’s Dedicated to the Revolutions, in which theatre artists attempted, badly, to explain scientific concepts they did not, or could not be bothered to, understand. What’s next: Hairdressers Teach Shakespeare I would like to answer the question, “What were […]

1. No Clean Starts

part of a series 1_There is no such thing as a clean start. Start from the mess and move towards something. Something that might be called truth. This starts as a way to get over the paralysis of starting. The frozen moments of waiting for the right time. There isn’t one, or there is only […]

2. Ruling and Limits

part of a series 2_Nothing is ruled out. Nothing ruled in. Not everything goes. On the importance of considering the inconsiderable and the necessity of exclusion. No strategy, subject or form can be categorically dismissed or adopted. As formulaic as much mainstream work is (ruling out many politics, forms and ways of being,) the “experimental” […]

New mandate / company description

In post Dedicated mode (thanks everyone who came) we’ve been writing some material, including re-jigging the way we talk about the company. I would love to hear thoughts on it:SMALL WOODEN SHOE sabotage , noun, French, from sabot – … 3b : deliberate subversion sabot – French, noun – a small wooden shoe. Artistic Director: […]

Ditte Maria Bjerg via Jacob Wren

– How do I become a citizen again and not remain a consumer?- Is theatre able to approach such subjects? Of course Where else can you address them? It’s worth a shot Theatre must be a free public space of dialogue and generosity welcoming genuine encounters between people – a place liberated from the chains […]

2009 World Theatre Day Message – Boal

Late in the game, but this part of Boal‘s text is especially interesting to me at the moment. One of the main functions of our art is to make people sensitive to the “spectacles” of daily life in which the actors are their own spectators, performances in which the stage and the stalls coincide. We […]

On absolutely silly shit

Sandbox posts are rough ideas – posts of writing from notebooks and partial answers to various questions. They are not done, and I suspect they might from time to time contain real errors of thinking and writing. But I want to put them here to expose them to the world and see what that does. […]

11 Conversation Starters

A few years ago I wrote a manifesto for Small Wooden Shoe in the form of 11 conversation starters.This blog seems like a place to have those conversations. The grand idea, then, is that I’ll write a post about each one – unpacking, furthering or denying and re-imagining them. Please join in. A Manifesto: 11 […]