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  • One of the best writers alive right now is the playwright Annie Baker. Glad to see her get a profile piece in this week’s The New Yorker. Here are some of my favorite parts of the article: 

“I can hear my students’ voices through just the way they listen,” [Annie Baker] says. “I always tell them, If you lose track of your voice as a writer, go back, eavesdrop, write down everything you hear, and that’s it. That’s you listening to the world.”



Before Baker writes a play, she spends about nine months reading, usually without a particular method or design. She reads history, fiction, and theory. Many of her models, she insists, aren’t dramatic — they include, instead, visual artists like Francis Bacon and Robert Irwin. “Irwin would never call himself a theatre artist,” she says, “but I’d say that what he was doing from the seventies on, which was making people walk into a room and look at it differently, is a kind of theatre.” 



"She thrives on confrontation," says Baker’s older brother, Benjamin Nugent. "I think our family was hard for her sometimes, because it wasn’t all that confrontational; my mother and I were quietly depressed in the years after the divorce, and I think her impulse was to try to hammer at our shells, to get us to be depressed more openly. I still see that shell-hammerer in Annie’s work."

You can read the full article here: http://bit.ly/W87zpr
There’s a lot of discussion over whether the novel is dead, or whether film is over, whether this form or that form is dying. I feel relatively uninterested in those conversations, it seems an easy way to get depressed, and I also feel the time spent discussing whether the novel is dead could be spent working on a novel or reading a great novel. But I will say this, I am pretty confident that theatre is going to be around as long as this planet. It’s older than almost all the other narrative mediums and it has a immediacy that cannot be replaced. 
Annie Baker explores that immediacy in multiple interesting ways. I feel going to her plays is experiencing something beyond the ordinary experience. I am going to see her newest play The Flick at Playwrights Horizons in March. You should too. 

    One of the best writers alive right now is the playwright Annie Baker. Glad to see her get a profile piece in this week’s The New Yorker. Here are some of my favorite parts of the article: 

    “I can hear my students’ voices through just the way they listen,” [Annie Baker] says. “I always tell them, If you lose track of your voice as a writer, go back, eavesdrop, write down everything you hear, and that’s it. That’s you listening to the world.”

    Before Baker writes a play, she spends about nine months reading, usually without a particular method or design. She reads history, fiction, and theory. Many of her models, she insists, aren’t dramatic — they include, instead, visual artists like Francis Bacon and Robert Irwin. “Irwin would never call himself a theatre artist,” she says, “but I’d say that what he was doing from the seventies on, which was making people walk into a room and look at it differently, is a kind of theatre.” 

    "She thrives on confrontation," says Baker’s older brother, Benjamin Nugent. "I think our family was hard for her sometimes, because it wasn’t all that confrontational; my mother and I were quietly depressed in the years after the divorce, and I think her impulse was to try to hammer at our shells, to get us to be depressed more openly. I still see that shell-hammerer in Annie’s work."

    You can read the full article here: http://bit.ly/W87zpr

    There’s a lot of discussion over whether the novel is dead, or whether film is over, whether this form or that form is dying. I feel relatively uninterested in those conversations, it seems an easy way to get depressed, and I also feel the time spent discussing whether the novel is dead could be spent working on a novel or reading a great novel. But I will say this, I am pretty confident that theatre is going to be around as long as this planet. It’s older than almost all the other narrative mediums and it has a immediacy that cannot be replaced. 

    Annie Baker explores that immediacy in multiple interesting ways. I feel going to her plays is experiencing something beyond the ordinary experience. I am going to see her newest play The Flick at Playwrights Horizons in March. You should too. 

    1. bushwickreview posted this

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