Theater asks for collective attention from the audience, and modern audiences are more used to an isolated individual un-reflective consensus with the cultural ideology. There is little true appreciation in such agreement; it is the ego shrieking “yes,” and at Padua it was difficult to find this easy response. The community of the festival seemed to insist the audience take part in this communal experience, and for some (or many), this was very uncomfortable, but, I would argue, valuable. In any event, I have not seen anything like it since.
Padua wasn’t auditioning, and it didn’t pander. Its doom was written in its ethic and integrity, and I hope the revival Murray is undertaking will plug back into those increasingly rare forces of creativity.
The schedule for the 2001 Padua Playwrights Productions is as follows: *16 Routines — now playing through May 5 *Joe and Betty, May 25 through June 23 *Mrs. Feuerstein, July 6 through August 4. All performances are at 2100 Square Feet, 5615 San Vicente Blvd.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m. Call (323) 692-2652