I like genre pieces. which shouldn't be surprising. I learned to read and imagine in the worlds of pulp fantasy and slightly better science fiction. Even now, when I read fiction, it is usually some clear genre - sci-fi and fantasy have been joined by mysteries (the harder boiled the better), spy novels and historical fiction.
I'm not an expert in any of these genres, which is maybe why I don't identify them as influences as much as maybe I should. But writing about up-coming work recently, there were two science fiction projects (Upper Toronto and Perhaps in a Hundred Years [opening at Summerworks on Thursday]), one ghost story and I had just received an email about a hard-boiled radio show I had done 10 years ago. Dedicated to the Revolutions is a science vaudville - not a common genre, but I think still a genre.
Genre obviously gives a frame and some distance that allows for different stories to be told, for a different kind of thought experiment or "what-if." This observation is nothing new, but in theatre it's less talked about.
It's certainly not part of the critical discourse or "legitimate art"* theatre.
Why is that?
*I'm not even show what I mean by that, but I still think it holds true.
More coming on this subject. I would love to hear thoughts or get links.