Title: The Last Convenient Cotillion (1983)

"Now, Nell, Barnard, Emma-Louisiana, and Young Master Huntley-Chasely, I do believe tonight shall be our last cotillion of the season together, but I swear next year's bound to be even better. Let's vow to make 1860 the Year of the Outrageous Party!"

Title: Her Birds of the Autumnal Equinox (1987)

"Listen, Mirabeth! I hear them! Just listen to them all in the Autumn sky, flocking ever-homeward... ever-homeward..." (shaking his head) "Your mother's so-called Equinox Birds." (Beat. Distant:) "My God she's been dead a whole year now, hasn't she, Mirabeth. How..."

Doing Your Cubicle Sit-Ups.

You.  In the fluorescent-lit cubicle biding your time.   No, not you.  The weirder-looking one.  Yes, YOU.  Do yourself a favor and don't rush off just yet to the break-room because it's 9AM on Bagel Thursday and, if you're quick, this will serve as your breakfast and lunch today.

Pause and do a 2 Minute Mental Exercise, which, as is widely-known, is the very opposite act of consuming a bagel.  You're in 7th grade English class again, the way you've always dreamed about but felt ridiculous admitting (even if only to yourself).  Now take out a Number Two Dixon Ticonderoga pencil and begin:

Pick a picture and honor it by writing a "titley" Title and no more than 3 lines of either action or dialogue that captures, in a nut-shell, the entirety of the story you see.  


Look!  You've gone and told yourself a little story and smiled this morning.  That's because you're creative and smart.  That is a small mental exercise.  

Ohhhhh... GO ON and grab your bagel, then, if you must.

That is all.

It's like being on crack again.

Professor DreadWhimsy's Sublimity Award #1

These publicity stills shone like a cluster of diamonds in the Google-gravel. They deserved more than a mere glance. They all-but-dick-slap you with their theatricality. No, no, that's a good thing. No it's not. It can too be a good thing. Hey, whatever man, you called me. You're the one standing in a darkened theatre with me, so don't give me that.

You see, these photographs achieve a near pitch-perfection of utter Sincerity, then move past it, bending light, warping space-time, reaching the Sublime, where they exist like some quantum particle paradox, simultaneously genuine and ironically-knowing--

YES. Yes, my Minions, the prophecies were true.

Behold that which has transcended the Post-Modern Galactic Rim:

I love these pictures and thank these humble strangers.

That is all.


  • Take a shot of Southern Comfort if there's Equity leads in the foreground somehow oblivious to some minor character emoting real hard at them... while standing only three feet behind them.
  • Take a shot of Vermouth if a child actor is being used more... more like a prop than anything else, by the looks of it.
  • Take a shot of Cognac if that family looks like maybe, maybe it's finally Coming-To-Terms with that thing that happened 17 years ago this Christmas.


  • Take a shot of Jagermeister if a woman may at-first-glance be a man in drag.
  • Take a shot of Tequila if color-blind casting has inadvertently led to historical anachronisms.
  • Take a shot of Sake if a white/blue-collar middle-aged middle-class White Man is having a crisis of faith in the American Dream.


  • Take a shot of Vodka if there's a Russian/Victorian/peasant/Of-Color Woman staring past the camera in a reverie of regret.
  • Take a shot of Rum if a wacky Screwball Lady's facial expression seems to say, "Get a load of THIS guy!"
  • Take a shot of Ouzo if there's an overtly homosexual actor in an aggressively heterosexual situation.

The Importance of Being Overly-Earnest.

Why-oh-why do I love an amateur publicity shot from an undergrad production, or a regional theatre, or a high school play?  

It's got to be in the faces.  Everyone's pushing sincerity real hard-- you have to be, 110%-- everyone's hitting a peak while standing frozen in hyper "stagey" ways to fit in frame, forced into melodrama, posing in ways never seen in the show.  It's nothing like the smooth passive glossy movie stills we know.  This type of photograph stands proudly alone, in a noble ageless tradition of pure Theatricality.

I've been in a few of these and when you're there in that hyper-character pose, confronting other characters, right-in-their-faces, holding, holding, waiting for the camera click, emoting just as hard as your little actor-heart can emote... you're selling this fucker hard, you better werk.  You're clickin so real you're givin off Drama Radiation.  

Radiation so hot it's gonna grab the reader by the balls with the sheer force of your passion!   THIS is the play to see!  Look at this photo, take a look at it!  My God.  I don't even know what's happening and I'm hooked.  Where's the phone?  Debbie, where's the phone, we need tickets for this thing.

So I decided to run a few Google image searches for "in a production of" and got the following pictures.  I love them.  I love the actors in these productions.  And at least... at least I love these pictures of the production, who knows what I missed.  So you're gonna sit there and look at these pictures.  And you're gonna feel the power of performance or else.  

These are actors, goddammit.  Actors in a production of.