To quote Drew Barrymore, "I love Found!" Drew and I both adore the unpredictable and often optimistic window into human nature provided by Davy Rothbart's Found magazine and recent book. We share a deep appreciation for the words of wisdom, heartbreak, and complete idiocy Rothbart and his minions have discovered on scraps of paper blowing down the street.
Christopher DeJong, Diana Brown, and
Trish Tillman find inspiration.
So when I heard that Combined Art Form Entertainment was kicking off a monthly event called "An Evening of Found Text," I figured it had to have been inspired by our mutual hero, Davy. Yet when I called Matthew Quinn, artistic director and co-producer of C.A.F.E.'s Off-Market Theater, he had never heard of Rothbart or the magazine, but he was unsurprisingly stoked to find out about the connection (great minds think alike, like me and Drew). "Yeah, I'm all over that!" he shouted, and after asking a million questions, decided the projects were practically siblings.
The important difference between the mag/book and the C.A.F.E. performance, though, is that the performance boasts lights, music, and a stage that audience members are encouraged to storm. "It could be anything," the director emphasizes. "Audience members and performers can decide they want a flute to play with them, or they want to sing [their bit of text], or they want a video of the American flag to play behind them. If somebody like Jill Schmill off the street came in and read her bank statement while her friend plays taps in the background, whatever. That would be great."
Caution: Actors will be present, and you may be severely upstaged by someone who's studied improvisation for the last five years. Then again, you may emerge as the supreme ruler of this weird salvage-karaoke-drama thing. If you do, prepare to defend your crown next month.