Thursday, January 19, 2012

One-Person Shows Suck

Do I have your attention? Good.

Almost a year ago, I ran across an interesting idea that I hadn't seen tackled in a theatrical format (although it is arguably theatrical in it's own right), the presentation format known as PechaKucha.
PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat", it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea [...]
"Chit chat."  Nice.  I read about this and shot an email to Phillip Kelly, pitching the idea of "PechaKucha Theatre."  Well, we haven't done anything with the idea, so I'm throwing it out there.
PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images.
6 1/2 minute long, one-person shows with accompanying slides.
03. Why invent this format ?
Because architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect - or most creative people for that matter - and they'll go on forever! Give powerpoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.
One-person shows go on too long, too.  Limit a performer to the most important 6 1/2 minutes of their life, and now we're talking.

The PechaKucha format could be an interesting way for production teams in a theatre company to pitch their proposals for the new season.  The Artistic Director of a theatre company could come out and do a little 6 1/2 minute dog and pony show about upcoming productions.  You could put an interesting and new spin on the shopworn "24 Hour Play" concept.  It could be used for playwrights in developing their work.  Theatre companies could present themselves or their seasons at a special PechaKucha session at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Or you could do an evening of incredibly personal, incredibly riveting one-person shows.  Personal, because it is storytelling at its most basic.  Riveting, because there is a ticking clock.


Phillip said...

I don't remember that email at all, but would be thrilled to do something like it or with it. It sounds like the idea I had not long ago - the synchronicity in art gathering. Remember that?

Andrew Moore said...

I had completely forgotten about it until a chance email search turned it up.

"Synchronicity in art gathering" rings a bell, but I don't recall the specifics. (Email me!)