Date: Thursday, January 29, 2004 9:04:47 AM

          Like the quasi avantgarde lifeblood of the new American semi-
professional theatre, No Shame, its invention and culture, strikes me as being
the spreading new force in American performance. Despite it always being
like this, the emerging new life cames where and when it is least
expected, rather like the British rock scene. Intertwined with the
unackowledged recent golden age of writing for the theatre at the University
of Iowa, including Rebecca Gilman, David Hancock and Naomi Wallace, its
definition and importance sweeps up communities of the kind that I have
witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia or at the Public Theater in New
York. My mind's eye ever sees Todd Ristau side by side with the innocent
first -time- performing- in- public young poet from the shopping mall
demonstrating the talent as if we were back in Dada cabaret in Berlin. To
correct the picture, the third person involved, myself, is normally agape at
the shock words and eloquent wit of the performer relative to my own terror
that I belong there in the room with them but knowing that I will reveal my
total performing worthlessness if I join in. (Yes, I am making a metaphysical
statement that every succesful director should take on board in terms of
greed(for talent), humility at self and electricity at opening the doors of
performance to the open world.
      To put the ambition of my words into focus, I ask all those in the know
to remember that the seminal and hilarious work of our much admired
writer, Rebecca, packing them in down the road from me in the Royal Court
Theatre, London, was with those miniature toys on the table top in the early
days of No Shame.
   Now, in turn, I observe the youngest and exquisitely rudest of the most
recent generation in Iowa, energise to open their own downtown alternative
space on the road to No Shame in Los Angeles or wherever next.

David Gothard