'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Monday, March 18, 2002 ]

I'm reprinting this from the comments last week.

I asked people for their favorite story involving Joel Gersmann, the atristic director of Broom Street Theater.

To know Joel is to have a splitting headache at some point.

Here's what people said, along with some new comments.

I think that quotes are easier...

"Not that many people are dealing with women anymore."

"It's fucking horrible. It's like having someone shit down your throat. I love it!"



Actually, my favorite Joel related quote is actually from Luke, in response to Joel saying (as he always does) "I've got better things to do than to waste everybody's time."

"No, you don't, Joel."

Another favorite quote relating to Joel is from John Sable:

"Joel would cut off his own dick then whine that he can't pee."


I have a whole shitload of great Joel quotes. Just a few of my favorites:

"I have ideas. Of course, there's no correlation with what people's bodies are capable of."

"It's too good. We have to do something to fuck it up."

"Brahms goes well with dopiness."

"I like to start with art and work towards trash."

"Speeches are hard because they're a big lump of stuff."

"It's a shallow play and it will be directed in a shallow manner."

"Let me put it bluntly. This play is not about Clint Eastwood. It's about Joel Gersmann."

Hope that keeps you entertained for minutes on end!



Actual thing said in Joel and my "conversation" about whether or not we should have publicity at Broom Street (not how much--if there should be ANY):

"Well, this conversation isn't really about you."

"It never is, Joel."

Another great one from the tree of Joel:

"The door's locked! You need to unlock the door with a key!"

As opposed to unlocking the door with a ham sandwich.

During the direction of "Almost a Man," a play about impotence, Joel got defensive about the relentless focus on male sexuality. "It's not ABOUT women. Maybe somebody else should write a play about women. But frankly, no one will. Because you can't."

Also during the same play, Joel went off one night after rehearsal on Osama bin Ladin. I can't produce a quotation, because I'm not convinced I wasn't dreaming, but the very serious gist of his rant was that Osama bin Ladin's problems all stem from the anxiety of using credit cards, and if Mr. bin Ladin would only do some underwear ads, he could get along with the world better.

-John G.


Some words about "Almost A Man:"

As John just said, the show was about a man with impotence; a problem that Joel suffers from himself. This is not a secret. He is open and honest about it. One might say that he's downright obnoxious about it.

But I digress.

Anyway, the main character has a girlfriend. Her feelings or how his condition impacts on her are never discussed, and in fact, her character completely drops out of the play about halfway through.

He eventually becomes introduced to the world of masturbation.

After a few tries, he learns that he can only achieve orgasm through masturbation--but this only happens if his fantasies include men (the main character insists that he is not gay). Any sex with his girlfriend causes him intense pain.


That's all I'll say.


This is also from Joel's own life; Joel has a habit of talking at length about masturbation to people he barely knows.

However, in the play, all is not well, as the main character cannot tell anyone about his newfound appreciation for playing with himself to anyone because society is too uptight to talk openly about such things.

In other words, it's the rest of us who have the problem. Not Joel. Never.

Joel, of course, will never get that perhaps people are okay about talking about masturbation. And perhaps it's the idea of Joel masturbating that has people looking for light sockets.

Damn, I wish I'd heard the bin Ladin speech. I gotta ask him about that next time I talk to him.

My favorite quote from the play "Almost A Man" really sums up Gersman himself:

"I know I'm being an asshole but you're just going to have to deal with it; this isn't about you, this is about me."

Joel liked the Bernie Mac show last night. I know this because I was at Brian's place and Joel called just to say that he liked the Bernie Mac Show because it was filled with Brechtian moments. That's all.

-Steph Wild


Joel once told me he hated "Wallace and Gromit" because it's "too safe."

As if it needs more Nazis or something.

So come on, Madison Theatre Folk!

I know you can do better than that...hit me with more stories!

You know you want to.

posted by Rob on 10:37 AM | link



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