The Time: The Entire History of the World
The Place: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on June 2, 2012
Time and date are a specific necessity for the recent guest appearance by the renowned Belgian theatre collective Ontroerend Goed’s magnificent piece A History of Everything. The play is not so much a straightforward piece of theatre, a la the grand production of William Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens that one could observe downstairs, as it is an ensemble-generated study of what it is that makes up both humanity’s collective understanding of history and the grand conception of what goes into our actual history.
To say that the piece is a grand achievement, the marvelous result of nearly a dozen artists working together in perfect unison would be an understatement.
With this in mind, let us disregard the quality of the performance and how best to achieve this experience for one’s self. (For the record, when reading my essays, please note that I tend to follow the “Ain’t It Cool” school of reviews. Assigning something a star or letter grade cheapens the artistic effort put forth in my opinion, as I feel that to give my opinion regarding something’s esoteric value is somewhat pretentious on my part, and fails to regard your own opinions and thoughts regarding the piece. Think of these essays as study guides/discussion pieces/jumping off points for a further/broader understanding of the artistic output of the artists.)