the chorister's c



My ghosts are the damnable ones of a New York theater scene that was forever changed when I came back to work in it in September 2001. Plays were always meant to be ephemeral. One-hundred-and-ten-story buildings are supposed to last forever. Well, maybe not forever, but longer than Cats.

There have always been theatrical ghosts floating above the towers and spires of Manhattan, productions both vaunted and reviled. In the end, a play leaves you with nothing, but it's a good nothing. Nothing tangible. See a play and you exit with memories, a program and some faded pictures. It is that very thing about the theater, the tiny half-life of any given production, that makes me most happy and most sad about working in the medium. It is the thing I cherish most, its shimmering now-ness. See this cast now or never again. See the show tonight and see something that no one else in the history of the world will ever see in exactly the same way. You used to have to pay $60 to experience that kind of sweet melancholy. Now you only need glance down toward the southern tip of the island. The skies above the city are more crowded these days, the ghosts multiplying as I write. Maybe Wim Wenders was right: the only heaven that exists is the one we allow. Not sitting on a cloud, not floating out in space somewhere. But here. And now.

Neil LaBute, New York Times Magazine, 17 February 2002

prev ||| index ||| next


the chorister's c ||| pedantic nuthatch

Compilation ©2003 David L. Gorsline.
All rights reserved.