Isaac has a good response to my last post here. Kent B in the comments also makes some valid points. To clarify a smidge, it wasn't a full-on "pox on both your houses" rant, not intentionally. I'd read this post on Lawyers, Guns and Money and it hit home for me. It feels like so much discussion in the theatre revolves around "mind-reading," too. The impulse to secrecy that plagues our institutions and the sometime over-protective quality of the art-making process lend themselves to it. And I don't mean it amongst your circles of friends (as I posted at Isaac's), not in the negative way. I know my friends, I know their lives and their concerns, and when I see their work, it's hard not to know those things. So when I see a short play from a friend of mine who's recently broken up with a girlfriend, I'm divining the story of the break-up in his play, whether or not it has anything to do with it. It can be a good thing, like I said about word-of-mouth, but it's all part of the same impulse.
A couple of years ago, I was seriously involved in a theatre that was marked by tons of strife and lots of factions, some aligned with the leader, others against. The leader of that theatre died suddenly and left a lot of us in the lurch. Recently, I was at an evening of short plays and one of the plays, it turns out, was about that leader, written by someone close to him. Watching that play, I had a lot of complicated emotions, but it was more complicated by the fact that, sitting a couple of seats away from me, was someone who was a key part of a faction that fought with the leader a lot. I found myself wondering what that person thought, what they thought the point of the play was, how they were reacting to it. That's what I mean about questioning motives. Maybe it's just my exposure to that theatre's culture, which amplifies a lot of this. Maybe it's just more of my fall blahs coming on. Who knows. But right now I'm just wishing there were more taking things at face value, as they are, for what they are, right or wrong, and less augury.