DREAM BUTCHERS: The World of Reinaldo Garcia

DREAM BUTCHERS: The World of Reinaldo Garcia

 Article written by Reinaldo Garcia

Reinaldo Garcia

Reinaldo Garcia

For three nights in June, I will present a trio of my one-act plays, connected by my performances of five of my songs, at Monterey’s Paper Wing Theatre.

The program will be called “DREAM BUTCHERS: The World of Reinaldo Garcia.”

The first piece, LOW & INSIDE, is a monologue delivered by a just-fired professional baseball umpire as he ventilates his rage to his buddy, who runs a sports bar.

This is followed by HUNGER, my award-winning 1981 piece set on the edge of a cliff, where a coddled sheep desperate for adventure finds himself cornered by a ravenous wolf.


The Sufis tell us that every man contains within him a sheep and a wolf. Our life’s task is not to let the wolf eat the sheep, nor to let the sheep tame the wolf.

HUNGER investigates this tension.

The evening ends with LET ME LOOK AT YOU, which was presented as a staged reading at a local college in 2009, with the Western Stage’s Jeffrey Heyer in the leading role.

This piece investigates a Christian grandfather’s sexual obsession with a Pacific Grove actress who works in a used record store.

Despite their grim descriptions, each piece contains comic elements. Just like life.

Above all, we will entertain you.

I haven’t seriously considered theater qua theater since 1985, when as Playwright-in-Residence for the state of New Mexico I wrote a paper for my students in which I discussed the elementary aspects of theater.

I started then, and begin now, with this question: Why theater? What does theater do that television and films can’t do?

Most theater productions are just staged situation comedies or history lessons or family melodramas or agitprop exercises, and that’s why they bore me.

Theater ought to exploit the things TV and film can’t do.

What are they?

First, theater takes place in the moment. The gloriously alive, unpredictable moment. No editing, no second takes.

Second, the actors are present in the flesh. Good actors, with the right material, will open their souls and not only illustrate, but illuminate, the human condition.

They, like the saints, suffer for us.

The audience will be seduced, and confronted, and integrated into the ritual.

I use the word “ritual” intentionally. Theater has its roots in ancient sacrificial/religious ceremonies.

Something must be at stake. The audience must witness the collision between opposing ideas of what is good and what is bad.

From these forces in conflict, we get true drama.

A good playwright will be sure to give each opposing force its due, because a battle between equals always radiates more power than the rout of a straw man the audience already hates.

A good story walks on two legs. The hero needs a worthy opponent.

Three nights in June. Hope to see you there.

©Typologos.com 2016


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