The Getty Villa


Date: Friday–Sunday, November 11–13, 2011
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

David Greenspan combines two of the most influential and antithetical treatises ever composed on the nature of theater—Aristotle's Poetics and Gertrude Stein's lecture "Plays"—in an unexpectedly enthralling evening of solo performance.

The well-known Obie Award-winning New York playwright, director, and performer David Greenspan has been hailed by the New York Times as "the Downtown art world's greatest secret weapon" in the battle against theatrical mediocrity. A lover of challenges and a taker of risks, Greenspan has long enjoyed presenting audiences with simultaneous and opposing truths, an enterprise epitomized by his fascinating juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern in Poetics and Plays. Complements the exhibition Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Lèger, and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique.

A conversation with the artist immediately follows the 3:00 p.m. Saturday performance.

"In Mr. Greenspan's lilting delivery, this dense display of Stein's curious mixture of the obvious and the abstruse makes for delicious hearing. Adding just a touch of humor by sardonic emphasis on a word here and there, he turns this long, logorrheic meditation on the differences among life, literature and the stage into an endearing bedtime story."—Charles Isherwood, New York Times

"No one is like Greenspan. His captivating, surgically precise 'narratage' makes passages of daunting opacity shine and dense concepts open like bumblebee-ready flowers. Anybody can build a stage picture, but few can so bedazzle the mind’s eye."—David Cote, Time Out New York

"Near the end of the text, Stein explains, in a moment of rare clarity, that the purpose of art "is to live in the actual present. . . and to completely express that complete actual present." You don't need to tell Greenspan that. No matter how outrĂ© his character or undramatic his materials, he's always shockingly, divinely present. . . . Even when rendering Stein's dozy phrases, Greenspan is dangerously stirring."—Alexis Soloski, Village Voice

Watch a short sequence from Part One of Poetics and Plays:


Loading the player...

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.