Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What, was "The Elitist Bunch of Hectoring Jerkwads Theatre Company" taken?

The DCeiver, being an ancillary player in the Washington, DC theatre scene, is subscribed to a goodly number of mailing lists. So if something happens in the world of local professional theatre, we know about it. Sometimes, we are even to blame.

But, we were disappointed and dismayed by a letter we received recently advertising an upcoming production of Diana Son's Stop Kiss at the Warehouse Theatre. In the first place, we were intrigued by any company that would stage this show after Woolly Mammoth did it. It's maybe not fair, but the way we see things, once Lee Mikeska Gardner, Holly Twyford and Rhea Seehorn put their stamp on a show in DC then that show is DONE, baby! Move on! So, any company that figures it could do better, I start thinking, "My, someone's has a great big pair of ostrich egg-sized BALLS in this town."

But, my heart sank when I saw the name of the theatre company that will be staging Stop Kiss. The Didactic Theatre Company.

Now, before you misunderstand--I don't know anyone in the Didactic Theatre Company. I have no reason to doubt their credentials. I have no claim to dispute their talent. I am certain that all involved are as sweet as pie, and they are pleasant to have around, and fun to have sex with, and can be counted on to pick you up at the airport or jumpstart your car if you are in need. Okay? Let me just say that.

But "The Didactic Theatre Company" is, without a doubt, the single worst name for a theatre company I have ever heard. And let me not sugarcoat it--as a name goes, it is worthy of total and absolute defaming. Short of calling youself the Holocaust Revisionists or The Young Rapists of Sheyboygan, calling yourself "didactic" is probably the worst possible thing you can advertise about yourself.

It's painfully clear that no one involved has any clue what the word didactic means! Well, let me take that back--they know it means "a : designed or intended to teach b : intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment." What they do not seem to know is that the word didactic has a connotation beyond its denotation that is not at all appealing or positive. When people want to criticize someone for coming off as a lecturing, hectoring, know-it-all asshole, they use the word "didactic." The word is an extremely "in your face" descriptor of a person or entity that feels it knows more than you do and is totally, smugly certain of their superiority. It's not the least bit populist. It's frankly alienating. (It kind of dovetails weirdly with the problems the Democratic Party is having these days, to be honest.)

This is a word of advice, Didactic Theatre Company. YOU MUST CHANGE THAT NAME. There is no debate to be had. You have to change that fucking name right fucking now. Trust me, if I wasn't a fan of scrappy underdog theatre companies I wouldn't even give you this advice, I'd simply laugh and say: "Look at these dimwit dickhead douchebags who are stupidly telegraphing to people that they're a bunch of overeducated snobs who seem to think that we ought to line up and be inculcated in their brilliance."

All right, that was a little strong.

But if you have the good sense God gave a box of tulip bulbs you'll change that goddamned name.


DCepticon said...

Whiners on the Run
Preachy Teachy Theatre
This One! No This One! Theatre
The Theatre
We Ain't Got No Ideas Left
Space Chimp
They should choose one of these.

A. L. Deviant said...

This again reinforces the european notion that Americans have a poor or no sense of irony.

DCepticon said...

We invented irony. They invented absurdism. We invented the musical and they invented opera. We invented Jazz and they stole it. The same with pot smoking. They also invented Fascism. Do we really need anything else from Europe?