“No Shame provides a place where anyone can take a shot at any aspect of theatre which interests them, a place where writers outside the Workshop and inexperienced actors can explore the possibilities of working in live theatre in front of an audience not expected to be polite. When you do your theatre in parking lots, there is very little in the way of audience etiquette. Cat calls, or even thrown bottles make for effective quality control. Even if a piece is bad, you have to believe in what you’re doing enough to face that kind of crowd. It makes for very honest and sincere fare. No Shame is a place where anyone may get up and dare to fail. It is a place without shame.”
My first experience with No Shame came in the Fall of 2004 when I was a first-year MFA Directing Student at the University of Iowa. Sitting in the lobby of the theatre building, I overhead three undergrads at an adjacent table discussing a solo theatre piece they had seen (or rather, experienced) the previous Friday.
Apparently, an MFA Playwrighting candidate had delivered a scathing monologue about his classmates, professors, parents- the list of targets went on and on- which culminated in a seemingly spontaneous, spastic dance break. To no music.
What, in the name of God, was happening in Theatre B from 11:30-1:00 AM every Friday night? I found out a few days later when I attended my first No Shame event.
The No Shame structure (and the energy it creates) was unlike anything I had experienced. I had no idea what to expect, and that’s the point. No Shame gives theatre artists an opportunity to put it out there, whatever it may be. Seeing playwrights, actors, and directors suddenly set free from the restraints of non-original work, classroom requirements, and preconceived audience expectations was exhilarating. Not that all of it was good. Some of it was terrible. Like really, really terrible. But it was out there, and the performers, writers, and audience members became better theatre artists because of it.
Wendy Marie-Foerster, Katie Mack-Montenegro, and I are extremely proud to bring this tradition of risk-taking and boundary-breaking to the Little Theatre and artistic community of the Central Coast. Now’s your chance to step up. There’s the stage, there’s the audience…what do you want to say? Dare to fail on December 10th! See you there.