James Schuyler in the Spotlight

1960s: Days of Rage

“… I’m a theater guy. In my field, in my business, when a character addresses the audience, there are two options: he or she is on the stage itself, in front of us, telling a story (see Our Town, Swimming to Cambodia), or the character is speaking to us from a specific place and time other than onstage and right now. The actual actor is always in the present, on the stage, but the character, more often than not, is somewhere else—some other location at some other moment—addressing us from there. Someone once excitedly told me about seeing a play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, one in which a guy tells his long, crazy story directly to the audience and then, at the end, puts on a necktie. Suddenly, the audience knows he’s going out, or going to court, or wherever. The reveal is that he is not…

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