(The following was printed in the program for Futura)
“…textually rich…” It’s a phrase that appears in our Vision Statement for The Theatre @ Boston Court which helps describe the kinds of plays we do. Obviously, textually rich can mean a lot of things, and it does to us as well. But primarily for us it means that there are big ideas and themes, and that there is beautiful use of language.
While there are obviously many kinds of plays, the theatre is arguably one of the last places in the arts where language is still appreciated, even revered. As our communicationis ever-more reduced to abbreviations and emoticons, the theatre is still a place where the word is king.
Our last play at Boston Court was The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder by Moby Pomerance, which tells the story of the family business which was largely responsible for the seemingly impossible task of assembling, defining and referencing every word in the English language for the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Moby’s dialogue relished language and word play, and the set itself was comprised of thousands and thousands of slips of paper, each covered with words.
And our follow-up production is Jordan Harrison’s Futura, which posits a not-very-distant future where there is no paper anymore, where all written communication has become digital and where the great works of literature have all been contaminated by the Wikipedia-zation of the digital files.
We were well aware of the parallels and contrasts in these two plays when we programmed them, but we could not have anticipated a couple of developments which make their proximity in our season even more relevant. Amazon recently announced that they now sell 180 digital (Kindle) books for every 100 hardback books sold, for the first time overtaking the market. And just weeks ago the Oxford English Dictionary announced that it will no longer publish their dictionary in hardback form – it will only be available online.
Of course we have to move forward, and the arguments for the astonishing ways in which technology has made our lives better are powerful. But as our world becomes ever-more virtual, the theatre becomes an even rarer place, a place where tangible actors on a three-dimensional stage and an audience in the theatre commune, often with the aid of glorious, rich language, to remind us of our humanity.
We hope u enjoy the ride!
Jessica Kubzansky & Michael Michetti, Co-Artistic Directors The Theatre @ Boston Court