March 20, 1996

March 23, 2007

March 20, 2007—First day of tech for Betty’s Summer Vacation. With the move to the Zero Arrow Theatre, there are now more observers in the room and its informative to learn how the jokes are landing. One of the reasons why there was no need to update the play’s social commentary on Lorena Bobbitt and the Menendez brothers was that Durang includes in the text all you need to know about the cases to get the joke. We may have forgotten how they got into the national consciousness. Even in the 2004 presidential elections Hardball’s Chris Matthews could joke about Bush-Cheney: “I mean, they‘re not the Menendez brothers.” Read the rest of this entry »


“Congratulations, Betty. You have appealed to our higher natures.”

March 20, 2007

After watching this weekend rehearsals of Betty’s Summer Vacation, not only does the play parody the sit-com format, but it also seems to foreshadow shows like Big Brother or Survivor where the darker side of human nature unfolds in a seemingly utopian situation. Perhaps the relevance of reality TV is “old news” in 2007, but as the reality TV gained popularity, it was striking to hear reports that reality TV was not only entertaining, but “good for us.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Camera Adds 10lbs

March 18, 2007

“We wanted a few more killings and then a long, disgusting trial.” One of Betty’s house guests demands. “We wanted it on television. We wanted months and months of humiliating, degrading revelations.”—excerpt from Betty’s Summer Vacation

What is it about watching a trial unfold on television? Are we hooked by the mystery of what will happen next? According to, a coalition of media groups wants the Minnesota Supreme Court to revise rules that currently block cameras from the trial courts. Minnesota is one of the few states that still keep cameras out of the courtroom. Read the rest of this entry »

“Now, now! Court TV now!”

March 17, 2007

As events escalate in Betty’s Summer Vacation, the vacationers decide to hold a mock Court TV trial in the middle of the night to entertain themselves. Within the past week, the real Court TV has made two announcements to draw public attention to their channel. Read the rest of this entry »

“Sex. Murder. Mayhem. Human Interest Stories About Kittens…”

March 16, 2007

As Institute actors in Betty’s Summer Vacation continue to sharpen their characterizations, we are discovering the extremes of comedy. How far are these characters willing to go to satisfy their desires for more sex and more violence? Read the rest of this entry »