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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tips on Getting Your Theater’s Name on the Cover of the Stranger

posted by on January 30 at 18:38 PM

So we’re sitting here putting out the print edition of this weekly newspaper and we’ve got a review of a local production of Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People that we want to plug on the cover. Won’t say if it’s a good review or bad. We just want to put it on the fucking cover. But the name of theater is making it nearly impossible.

The Strawberry Theatre Workshop? What the fuck kind of a name for a theater is that? Did Strawberry Shortcake and the Children’s Television Workshop have a fucked up baby and institutionalize it here in Seattle? What’s next for Seattle theater? My Little Pink Pony Players?

Hey, Strawberry Theatre Workshop! Your name is too fucking long to fit on our cover—or any newspaper’s cover. It’s not a name, it’s fucking paragraph. Seven syllables? Have you really earned seven fucking syllables? And while you abbreviate your name Strawshop, we can’t use that on the cover by itself—as in, “Strawshop’s New ‘Enemy’”— because most readers won’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. But our copy editor doesn’t want us to use “Strawshop Theatre’s New ‘Enemy’” because the world might end if we to take the first half the word from the start of your name and shove it together with the last half of the word from the end of your name and then slap the entire word from the middle of your name on to the end. Follow that? ME NEITHER!

And you know what else? It’s theatER not theatRE, you pretentious twats.

Oh and speaking of pretentious twattery, I just went to your website to double check the spelling of your name, which is where I happened upon your “mission statement.”

Our name is derived from the Strawberry Fields of popular music, and the Beatles, who used their recording studio as a daily laboratory of expression. Like a musical ensemble, which still allows the ear to identify the craft of individual players, our aesthetic strives toward…

BLAH BLAH BLAH! The name of your theatER is plenty annoying BEFORE you start explaining it. Remove that pretentious mission statement from your website immediately. Here’s the only mission statement you need, you dirty hippies:

Strawberry TheatER Workshop is dedicated to making theatER THAT DOESN’T SUCK.

Pretentious, suckshit “theatre” gits are a dime a dozen around here—they give ‘em columns if they suck long and hard enough—but theater artists making theater that doesn’t suck? We could use some more of them!

That’s what we need. Non-suckshit theaters, with short, catchy names—names that fit on newspaper covers.

RSS icon Comments


.. I thought this was an Adrian post.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 30, 2007 7:05 PM

Four ounces of Scotch whiskey, stat!

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2007 7:18 PM

Crap. Whisky, not whiskey.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2007 7:19 PM

What I need is a kir. At Liberty. With some sushi.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 30, 2007 7:23 PM

Oh lordy--a kir? You really are having a bad night.

Posted by Boomer | January 30, 2007 7:31 PM

I'm a fag, Boomer, what can I say? Could've been worse. Could've ordered a kir royale.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 30, 2007 7:33 PM

What's a "kir?" Is that some kind of gay drink?

Posted by Misty Brown | January 30, 2007 7:34 PM

it's a drink that fits on the cover! unlike those fuckface vodka soda shitfucks.

Posted by SEAN NELSON, EMERITUS | January 30, 2007 7:44 PM

If you're going to let an unfortunate name stop you from promoting the most relevant play I've seen since Native Son you might as well give Adrian Rian an Editorial position.

Posted by Morgan | January 30, 2007 7:51 PM

I'd just like to point out a convention I heard a while ago. "Theatre" is the art, "Theater" is the location where the art takes place. Except no one follows this. It's the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Leo K. Theatre. Which is stupid.

It's also A Contemporary Theatre, INTIMAN Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Magic Theatre, Public Theatre...

On the other hand, it's Actors Conservatory Theater, Guthrie Theater, Public Theater...

So, who the fuck cares... Why not call them "SWT (what?)" on your cover?

Posted by jak | January 30, 2007 8:11 PM

A kir is a glass of white wine (for a white whine) with a wee dram of Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) in it. Kir royale is with Champagne in place of the still white wine. It's what I ordered the last time I was in a fancy mixed drink bar. Dan has good taste. But this post suggested a big slug of hard booze.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2007 8:52 PM

Heh. Suckshit?

(There's nothing wrong w/ vodka sodas, Sean.)

Posted by Ryan | January 30, 2007 8:56 PM

Laurence Ballard, if memory serves, has posited that theater/re rule, and it's bunkum. The issue is simply that the greatest playwright in the world was English, and therefore all theater people are raging anglophiles, hence the silly spelling.

Posted by Eric F | January 30, 2007 8:57 PM

There's one thing wrong with a vodka soda, Ryan. It has vodka in it. You might as well take your poison in pill form. Liquor should be brown, and have some flavor. If you're going to go clear, you need to hit it in cold shots, like Aquavit.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2007 9:10 PM

how about STW ?
Who cares if no one knows who it is until they read the paper ?
Does anyone ever know what the stranger cover means ?!

Also, i confirm. Theater is for the building. Theatre is for everything else.

or... can't you put the name vertically . or something ?
gawd. figure it out.

Posted by some actress in seattle | January 30, 2007 10:03 PM

You need to find yourself some perspective re: problems.

Just use a smaller type. Nobody reads the words on the cover anyway.

Posted by PA Native | January 30, 2007 10:03 PM

I'm gonna start a troupe someday and call it the Non-Suckshit Players, just for you Dan.

Well, not now, because I'm working on my degree, but STILL.

Posted by Gomez | January 30, 2007 10:47 PM

a rare chance to pick on Fnarf for 4 posts in the same thread...

In a thread on the pretentiousness of theater, you bring in the whisky v. whiskey debate and side with whisky. Then you admit to drinking kir (gack-o-fflippin-rama). And then you slam vodka.

Needless to say, I'll never take drinking advice from you (although in fairness, anyone who orders name vodka in a bar as opposed to well is a damn fool and probably should be drinking Aquavit).

Posted by gnossos | January 30, 2007 11:04 PM

My theater company:

"Bag of Duck Vaginas Players"


Posted by Will | January 30, 2007 11:28 PM

um.. shouldn't theater be judged by what happens on stage. sorry dan but you're sounding pretty longenbough. (sic)

Posted by cheesepants | January 30, 2007 11:41 PM


actually, i think you spelled it correctly the first time... tho i'm not positive whisky is wrong, i'm pretty sure whiskey is right.

Posted by andy | January 30, 2007 11:43 PM

The Royal Sheakspear Theater Company.
Eleven sylables.

Posted by cheesepants | January 30, 2007 11:48 PM

French 75's

FNARF will know

Expensive, best buzz from booze, lots of pretense, must give waiter a twenty at the start and more at the end

Posted by sammy | January 31, 2007 12:13 AM

whiskey/whisky...why not go for the pretentious and obscure 'uisge'? Whatever it's called, I just got home from a birth, and a whiskey sounds like a good idea.

Posted by amazonmidwife | January 31, 2007 12:39 AM

Well vodka is about the worst thing you can put in your body. Vodka is not like rum. You can find a cheap rum that tastes good or equivalent to what you would get on call...whereas vodka, a cheap well vodka tastes like utter shit.

A kir sounds pretty nice for a swanky night, even to this straight drinking man.

Posted by Dex | January 31, 2007 12:57 AM
Posted by josh | January 31, 2007 1:29 AM

Steppenwolf Theatre Company - 9 Syllables.
Looking Glass Theatre Company - Also 9 Syllables.
Atlantic Theatre Company - ALSO 9 Syllables.
Dog and Pony Theatre Company - 10 Syllables.
Seattle Repertory Theatre - 10 Syllables.

I realize how terribly clever these choices are in thinking of theatre groups that exceed 7 syllables, but I'm not a theatre person and it wasn't really that difficult.


Posted by Andrea | January 31, 2007 2:02 AM

Do I have an as of yet unrecognized speech impediment, or does Straw-ber-ry The-a-tre Work-shop have 8 syllables, not 7?

That no one else has commented on this makes me question my own syllabic skills.

1. Straw
2. ber
3. ry

4. The
5. a
6. tre

7. Work
8. shop

OK, I stand by my assertion.

Posted by Jude Fawley | January 31, 2007 7:51 AM

Good to point out, josh, though WET is obviously better known locally by their neat acronym.

STW sounds like the initials of a welfare housing program.

Posted by Gomez | January 31, 2007 9:27 AM

"Whiskey" is correct in Ireland and America -- Irish whiskey, bourbon whiskey. But in Scotland and Canada, "whisky" is correct -- Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky. Put an "e" in the Scotch stuff -- no, the LETTER, not a drug tablet -- and hairy drunk hairy men in skirts will burn your house down and defecate on your car seat. Justifiably so.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2007 9:30 AM

There is nothing pretentious about spelling national drinks correctly.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2007 9:32 AM

Now that was amusing. The drunken rant can be sublime when practiced by a true master of the genre.

I've clearly got a long way to go.

Posted by Sean | January 31, 2007 9:35 AM

Thanks- glad somebody finally called the Dingleberry Theatre Workshop on all their ridiculous crap.

Posted by jake | January 31, 2007 9:56 AM

Someone who drinks Kir at Liberty is lecturing theatRE lovers about pretension?!?!?!?!

oh, wait, that should be LibREty...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 31, 2007 11:11 AM

There's nothing pretentious about Liberty. There is something pretentious about a super fag like Savage drinking PBRs or "Beam neat" or something you might find non-pretentious, Strangeways.

Savage would drinking under the pretense of being straight-acting. A musical-theater-loving, cock-sucking, bitchy-quip-tossing fag drinking a kir? That's authentic as all hell.

Posted by EXTC | January 31, 2007 12:01 PM

sorry, dude....Liberty is incredibly pretentious and poseur-y...

that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it...

oh, and the lighting is AWFUL...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 31, 2007 12:11 PM

Jeebuz Dan, if the mere mention of the polysyllabic name of a lil' ole' theatRE company can drive you into this kind of a coniption-fit, I cannot WAIT to hear the sound of your head exploding when you have to deal with the title to Annex TheatRE's spring production.

Posted by COMTE | January 31, 2007 12:36 PM

Seriously, "re" vs "er" throws you into a tizzy? Did it give you the vapors? Did some large boy named Petre or Waltre thump you into submission on the playground while you were still in short pants? In all my international wanderings I see these spellings used interchangeably and not once did I fly into a rage and strangle the nearest pretentious-looking person. Maybe I've got zenlike patience.

I'm a big fan, Savage, but I can't believe this REALLY makes you angry.

Posted by New Yorker | January 31, 2007 1:49 PM

TheatRE is the art, theatER is the building. That's how it actually is, no twattery about it. Chill out.

Posted by Westenera | January 31, 2007 2:22 PM

TheatRE is the art, theatER is the building. That's how it actually is, no twattery about it. Chill out.

Posted by Westenera | January 31, 2007 2:23 PM

Dan got moded--a few times!

Posted by bridget | February 1, 2007 10:12 PM

Two words, Dan: "Greek Active"

Posted by rowlfdog | February 3, 2007 10:50 PM

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