Beneath the Rose Theatre

Posted by William Davies King on Friday, November 15, 2013.
Beneath the Rose Theatre--cover

The theater (note variant spelling) has been the place I go, the topic I teach, and yet for years I have been leery about being mise en that particular scene. Is it, after, all, a place of some horror (shame, guilt, pity and fear) such as I run from in my days and run to in my dreams.

A wonderful discovery to find that Gregory Crewdson has taken his camera there in pictures that seem heretical some who would rather believe in the camera's cruel capacity to seize the real.

Using all the wizardry available from Hollywood (art director, costume designer, lighting gods), he creates these moving stills--shutter snaps that haunt.

It's pure theater, rendered on photographic paper.

His book Beneath the Roses takes us to his familiar New England towns. I remember those rainy streets and cold susnsets from my days at Andover, 1968-1973.

I prowled the woods in search of adulthood, scaring myself with my own shadow.

Plays, to me, seemed to offer a better landscape, one in which I might know how to act.

Actors draw focus, and a focus is a hearth, a burning place. A lens will make the light ignite.

Sub rosa means in confidence--secretly.

At this stage of my development, it seems possible to make an entrance without a blush.

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