The Melloniad 2015

What gets performed—and what do we abandon?
What’s to become of repertoire and canon?
In Martin’s talk, we learned to our surprise
how hard it is for plays to Nortonize.Whole oeuvres may be taken off the grid
by evil law firms somewhere near Madrid.
Once we knew how canon sausage was made,
we thrilled to secrets Sharon M. displayed.
With scrapbooks used for tabulating merit,
celebrities took the global route to share it.
Who knew the Victorian actress blazed her passion
not 20,000 leagues from Kim Kardashian?
Claire chided us for Occidental bent,
and off with copious homework we were sent;
when unfamiliar plays are dissed as minor,
what’s happening in China stays in China.
Just when we thought no canon could be sweeter,
Marc re-performed experimental theatre.
As for the canon, the Wooster Group declare,
“It may be unintelligible, but it’s there.”
Concerned our terms had started to go splurgy,
we seized the lifeline thrown by dramaturgy.
When architecture limits opera’s shapes,
Rigoletto goes all Planet of the Apes.
Heather posed, without a whiff of trauma,
the challenge of recuperating drama
when (less exciting than the death of Hamlet),
the nineteenth-century play appears as pamphlet.
Debra showed that networking a troupe
can function as a yiddische Facebook group—
but woe betide those mapping networks’ glamor
sans data visualization programmer!
Rising to jeremiad with distinction,
Matt heralded another Great Extinction:
though companies are sometimes still King Learing,
the repertoire is rapidly disappearing.
The repercussions for canon and performance
could be denied by no one (even Laurence).
Just when we thought the repertoire a goner,
we learned to put our trust in microfauna
and seminar rooms replete with small-ish groups
amidst a horde of dark Satanic MOOCs.
Diana took us through a darker door
where wars on poverty displace the poor.
Despite the state’s nefarious undoings,
performance still can witness to the ruins.
Lest all our theorizing make us stagnant,
we gathered to re-repertorize the fragment.
Euripides put boldness in the meek
who found their voices speaking ancient Greek.
Might 2400 years be over-reaching?
Round-table conversation turned to teaching,
the merits of canon-busting, even praise
for dragging sluggish undergrads to plays.
Some of us found paradox in professing
an art-form both exciting and suppressing,
yet despite the theatre’s ling’ring antinómies,
we gladly toasted Fun Home at the Tonys.

See also: Andrew Sofer