Beneath the Rose

12" x 16.5"
Beneath the Rose

Beneath the Roses by Gregory Crewdson (NY: Abrams, 2008)

Shakespeare on the Stage: An illustrated history of Shakesperian performance by Robert Speaight (London: Collins/St. James Place, 1973)

Theatre through the Ages by Cesare Molinari, trans. by Colin Hammer (NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972)

Plays by Four Tragedians, eds. Louis Glorfeld, Tom E. Kakonis, James C. Wilcox (Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, 1968)

A Treasure of Theatre: Classical through Modern, ed. James V. Pickering (St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1975)

A Treasury of the Theatre, Volume II: from Henrik Ibsen to Robert Lowell, ed. John Gassner and Bernard F. Dukore (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1970)

Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns by Pauline Kiernan (NY: Gotham Books, 2006)

The Rose

"Borrowing, as all opera does, from every medium--fiction, film, theater, painting, and photography--'Beneath the Roses,' taken as a whole, is a highly contrived, arbitrary-seeming narrative, staged in a way that both tests the limits of realism and makes no effort to disguise its artificiality" (10) --from introduction by Russell Banks

YASHA (hums softly): "Knowest thou my soul's emotion."

scowler man
Beneath the Rose Theatre—November 15, 2013--original blog post

The theater (note variant spelling) has been the place I go, the topic I teach, and yet for years I have been leery about being mise en that particular scène. Is it, after, all, a place of some horror (shame, guilt, pity and fear) such as I run from in my days and run to in my dreams.

A wonderful discovery to find that Gregory Crewdson has taken his camera there in pictures that seem heretical some who would rather believe in the camera's cruel capacity to seize the real.

Using all the wizardry available from Hollywood (art director, costume designer, lighting gods), he creates these moving stills--shutter snaps that haunt.

It's pure theater, rendered on photographic paper.

His book Beneath the Roses takes us to his familiar New England towns. I remember those rainy streets and cold sunsets from my days at Andover, 1968-1973.

I prowled the woods in search of adulthood, scaring myself with my own shadow.

Plays, to me, seemed to offer a better landscape, one in which I might know how to act.

Actors draw focus, and a focus is a hearth, a burning place. A lens will make the light ignite.

Sub rosa means in confidence—secretly.

At this stage of my development, it seems possible to make an entrance without a blush.