Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Making Magic in Bars

I've had an idea for a while to create a performance piece based on plays/stories/novels that take place in bars or drinking/drunken speeches or scenes in which drinking plays a large role (which describes just about any play by Noël Coward, really). I'm going to develop a script for a site-specific work for me to direct that can be performed in bars (here in NYC, I'm especially interested in Jimmy's No. 43, of course, or The Bourgeois Pig, pictured at right). I'm asking everyone I know to send me titles/authors of works that fit this bill. Here's what I have so far:

Arthur: Ten Nights in a Barroom (the book, not the play)
O'Neill: The Iceman Cometh
Masteroff, Kander and Ebb: Cabaret (although I'd like to stay away from musicals at this point but I guess I could look at Isherwood's Berlin Stories or Van Druten's I am a Camera)
Chase: Harvey
Patrick: Kennedy's Children
Williams: In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel
Albee: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Saroyan: The Time of Your Life
Shakespeare: I Henry IV (haven't figured out how this one might work but Act II, Sc. 4)
Shakespeare: Macbeth (the Porter's speech after the murder of Duncan)
Miller: The Days of Wine and Roses

Of course, the beauty of the piece is that it could be performed in any bar, anywhere in the world—The White Elephant in Fort Worth, the Elk's lodge in Joplin or Au Lapin Agile in Paris (guess which of these tops my list...). I'm not sure yet how the piece will work: obviously, much of this material is copyrighted so I won't be using it outright. But I thought I'd start with how other writers have approached drinking and bars and see where it leads me. So all you amateur dramaturgs out there, drop me a line with your suggestions, tout de suite!

2 comments:

CHurt said...

Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley; if you're up for Irish - Conor McPherson's The Weir and the almighty Playboy of the Western World. Can I play?

Barry Rowell said...

All very good suggestions, Chris! Of course you can play: would I do something in a bar that didn't include you? I'm no fool!