August 2012

By theater [object] we mean:

1. “theater as an object,” as in the state of contemporary theater (about which we offer no opinion)
2. “the object of theater,” as in why do it at all? what are the aims? (we don’t know but might care)
3. “a theater of objects,” as in the materials of theater above and beyond the “imitation” of “reality”

The object of theater [object] to present, in an ongoing series of one-night shows, 5 or so 15-20 minute lo-tech performances of new or in-progress works of experimental theater. What’s “experimental theater”?

The playwright Mac Wellman once referred to the mainstream theater as the “theater of the already known.” It’s the theater for audiences who already know what “theater” is — what a plot is, what a character is, what a moral of the story or a “message” is, what it means to be sad, what it means to be happy, what it means to sing in key, etc. — and who more or less get that when they go to see theater. Experimental theater is any theater that is not that theater.

Outside of that, we don’t aim to be prescriptive. Theater can also be performance art, dance, music, improvisation, monologue, film and video, puppetry, poetry, polemical rants or documentary so long as it is none of those. That is, theater must care about theater as an object and the object of theater, and not mainly the object of some other form of art-making, and especially about the theater of objects (especially language as an object) to be this theater. See?

If you are a writer, director, artist or performer with a new project and are interested in participating in the first theater [object] event (we’re aiming for a February 2013 premiere), please write an email describing your idea along with samples of previous work. We’ll take it from there.    Send article as PDF   

The L.A. Telephone Book is a collection of new work by contemporary Southern California writers and text-artists compiled and designed by poet and digital artist Brian Kim Stefans (that is, me).

The volume is free for download from Mediafire (see links below).

The collection was created based on a semi-open call to writers and artists for up to 7 pages of work, set in 6 x 9 in .pdf format, which were then assembled into the present file. All choices were made by the artists and presented as they created it. Several artists contributed notes and statements about their work.

Mediafire download

PDF (33mb)

ZIP (30mb)

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This volume includes work by:

Harold Abramowitz
Amanda Ackerman
Danielle Adair
Will Alexander
Rae Armantrout
Therese Bachand
Julia Bloch
Allison Carter
Andrew Choate
Selby Cole
Brent Cox
Zen Dochterman
Ben Doller
Sandra Doller
Amy Dozier
Johanna Drucker
Kate Durbin
Sesshu Foster
Matt Gangi
K. Lorraine Graham
Anna Guercio
Larkin Higgins
Jen Hofer
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Andrea Lambert
Janice Lee
Eric Lindley
Tess. Lotta
Barbara Maloutas
Andrew Maxwell
Anna Mayer
William Mohr
Joseph Mosconi
William Poundstone
Christopher Russell
Anthony Seidman
David Shook
Irene Soriano
Brian Kim Stefans
Mathew Timmons
David L. Ulin
Paul Vangelisti
Mark Wallace
Jacqueline Waters
Christine Wertheim
Amanda Yates

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