Blood on the Austin Stage, Paint on the Texas Walls
And, go ahead, paint a little on Brenner while you're at it
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
2:30PM, Thu. Nov. 8, 2012
You're, like, not supposed to say "Macbeth" in a theatre.
Theatre people came up with that shit, you know.
They came up with it because theatre people – like every other sort of human that's ever existed – are occasionally idiots.
Some theatre people, though – even some of the ones who will pointedly refer to "The Scottish Play" instead – are not idiots at all. And some of those non-idiots will take a bunch of handmade puppets and boil down the Bard's bloodiest tragedy to a ferocious night of live theatre.
And then, when we're talking about Connor Hopkins and his Trouble Puppet Theatre – who have done just such a fierce reduction and are presenting it every night from Wednesday to Sunday, through November 18th – when we're talking about them, the term non-idiot must be upgraded to genius.
Word on the Web is that this version of Macbeth is amazing. Word on the Web is that the folks who brought us Riddley Walker and The Jungle and Frankenstein and all manner of dark delights … well, they've got another success on their puppeted hands.
And soon everyone will have to go through my shit to see it.
Which is to say: Toil & Trouble is presented on the main stage of Salvage Vanguard Theater. And the lobby gallery of that theatre … the walls of that gallery … will soon be covered with much of the visual art I've personally created in the past couple of decades.
"Soon," in this case, means starting at the opening reception for my show Wayne Alan Brenner: Vivid Section
And that, to which you're invited, is Saturday, Nov. 10, from 5:30pm until 7:30pm.
Note: During the artshow's reception, the public will be invited to take some of the tempera pigments I've provided and decorate my boxer-shorts-clad carcass while I lie in the center of the gallery upon a large sheet of plastic.
(Probably a repurposed shower curtain, that plastic.
Decorated with whatever you decide to paint on my pale & pasty flesh, me.)
And during this paint-stuff-all-over-Brenner's-body activity, you can also (of course) take a gander at the various pen-and-ink drawings, the altered and embellished fabrics, the screenprints, the mixed-media graphics, and especially the 4'x6' acrylic portrait of Philip K. Dick that I just completed after two weeks of furious painting.
There will be drinks and some tasty noms available, too,
to refresh you during the process of witnessing all this Vivid Section stuff.
Note: There may even be more drinks & noms available than there are murders in Toil & Trouble – but not necessarily. Because I asked Trouble Puppet's Kathryn Rogers about the number of murders in this Shakespearean adaptation, and she provided this list:
two Norwegian soldiers (smashed with a mace, in battle)
first Thane of Cawdor (executed by being drawn and quartered)
Duncan's two grooms (throats cut onstage)
Macduff's son (stabbed through the heart)
Soldier (in battle)
Siward (smashed with a mace)
Macbeth (spoiler! heh.)
And there's Lady Macbeth's suicide, too.
"There's also a messenger killed and a Scottish soldier," she added, smiling that lovely smile of hers. "But Fleance escapes, of course. So eight homicides, fifteen deaths."
Note: No one will be murdered, neither fake-murdered nor for-reals, during the opening reception for my art show. But you be careful where you're slapping that paint on me, okay, friend? You just fucking watch yourself, please.