It was good in Fight Club.
I went to the Humana Festival at the end of March and was struck by a trend toward narration. There was no Narrator, but a character at any time might narrate his inner state or even speak stage direction, telling us about something happening at that moment that was not, in fact, actually being staged. Then back to dialogue and action until we hit the next narration.
The first time I saw it was in The Grown Up by Jordan Harrison and I thought, “Huh! That’s different.” The second time I saw it was in Remix 38 by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Idris Goodwin, Basil Kreimendahl, Justin Kuritzkes and Amelia Roper, and I combed through my program, wondering if they’d all gone to writing camp together or something. The third time I saw it (and this is all in one jam-packed weekend) was inThe Christians by Lucas Hnath, where it’s actually very extended and integral to the play and I realized, “Oh, I’m going to be seeing this a lot then.”
I know I’ll be seeing a lot of new plays this season, both fully produced and as readings. I’m going to keep a tally of the sudden narration. Have you seen this? Do you know where it comes from? Do you like it? I don’t. It was theatrical and different, but above all it is a Device with a Capital D that took me out of the plays.