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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

In Memoriam: Spalding Gray
2004-03-09 08:32
by Jon Weisman

A unifying accident ...

Often, when you do a long run of a play, in this case Our Town, you have what I like to call a unifying accident, in which something so strange happens in the play, that it suddenly unites the audience in the realization that we are all here together at this one moment in time. It's not television. It's not the movies. And it probably will never be repeated ever again.

It happened as I was speaking of the dead and I say, "And they stay here while the earth part of them burns away, burns out....They're waitin' for something they feel is comin'. Something important and great...."

As I say this, I turn and gesture to them, waiting, and, just as I turn and gesture, the little eleven-year-old boy playing Wally Webb projectile vomits! Like a hydrant it comes, hitting some of the dead on their shoulders! The other dead levitate out of their chairs, in total shock, around him and drop back down. Franny Conroy, deep in her meditative trance, is slowly wondering, "Why is it raining on stage?" The little boy flees from his chair, vomit pouring from his mouth. Splatter. Splatter. Splatter, I'm standing there. My knees are shaking. The chair is empty. The audience is thunderstruck! There is not a sound coming from them, except for one little ten-year-old boy in the eighth row. He knows what he saw and he is LAUGHING!

At this point, I don't know whether to be loyal to Thornton Wilder and go on with the next line as written, or attempt what might be one of the most creative improvs in the history of American theatre. At last I decide to be loyal to Wilder and simply go on with the next line, and I turn to the empty chair and say: "Aren't they waitin' ... for the eternal part of them ... to come out ... clear?"

- Spalding Gray (1941-2004), Monster in a Box

A brilliant, tragic man.

And also this morning, I remember another remarkable performer who has passed away, also at the age of 62, Paul Winfield.

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