What is a classic? Some would say khaki pants are classic. Or jeans? Mac and Cheese. Chicken Noodle Soup. Rocky. The Godfather. Shakespeare. Williams. Cheers and Taxi. Classic is more than just ‘old’. It has a kind of ‘classic’ quality. A kind of sincerity and a kind of everlasting coolness.
When developing the idea for this company, I thought: “What kinds of plays do I want to do?” I thought about what I love about the art of acting and the art of theater, and then I realized that was the key. The art of acting is the art of theater. Theater and actors and actors and theater. And theater relies heavily on words words words.
Classic plays are great with words.
The three unities, long monologues, soliloquies, eloquent dialogue. These are all aspects of ‘classic theater.’ Theater that was made before it’s children were born: before film, television, and that bastard stepchild everyone loves to hate and hates to love, the Internet.
That isn’t to say that we’ll only do Sophocles or Shakespeare. Sure, we’ll do Moliere and Goethe and Marlowe, but we’ll also do Ibsen and Chekhov and Shepard and yes, even Mamet.
We’ll do others, too, that most people haven’t heard of. Beckett? Gogol? Albee? Ionesco? (Yesco.) Who knows. Time will only tell. (Churchill, Ruhl, Kushner? Maybe it’s time to Stoppard.)
And that, I guess, is the truly the only thing that makes a classic: time. The classics have been around for a long time for a reason, because they’re good. The ‘new’ classics are less tested, but they still have that glimmer, that shine, that feel-it-in-yer-gut attitude.
Like a good pair of jeans, people can recognize classic when it fits.
So sure, the term ‘classic’ is somewhat malleable. But actually, that’s great, because theatre is an art, and no one likes an art that’s stiff. (drinks, on the other hand…)
The classics is what The Kingfisher Theater does. (but in new ways, don’t forget)
The Kingfisher Theater: Classic Plays in New Ways.