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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of surprise.

That was a big lesson from Peter Shaffer. We went to see a play once about the mad queen of Spain and in the first act there were two rapes, an evisceration, a fire and something horrifying with a child, I don’t remember. And at the end of the first act I said, “This is so much my kind of thing. Why am I bored?” He said, “There’s no surprise.” And I thought, “Put that on your bathroom mirror.” Surprise: if it’s in the lyric, the unexpected word, the unexpected note, the unexpected incident. The unexpected, the unexpected, that’s what theater is about. If you had to patent one thing in the theater, it’s surprise.

Stephen Sondheim

—posted 33 days ago


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