What is this website?
Maximum Verbosity is the personal website of multi-disciplinary theatre artist phillip andrew bennett low. "Multi-disciplinary theatre artist" is a clumsy way of stating that I'm in show business in a number of different capacities. Specifically (see below) I'm a playwright, poet and storyteller, director and actor, theatre critic and political blogger.
Wait a minute...didn't this used to be a theatre company?
Yes! From 2003-2011, full-length ensemble shows were produced year-round under the production title "Maximum Verbosity." This ceased to be a viable business model. However, as I personally am still quite active in the arts community, and I paid for and filed the DBA under my own name, and had an awesome site design done by an extraordinarily competent individual, and I am extremely lazy, I've decided to hang onto the name as an umbrella for my own work. (I do also still produce ensemble shows on an occasional basis.)
For those interested in the production company's history, here's some of our past shows. Also, here's the mission statement and an essay about its creation, composed for our five-year anniversary. There's also another pair of essays detailing some of my thoughts on the role of religion and politics in theatre, respectively titled Theatre and Theology and Handouts and Histrionics. Written some time ago, and I've more or less disavowed some aspects of what they contain, but they collectively come as close to a "manifesto" as anything I'm ever likely to write.
For a (now sadly ironic) Infocom-style transcript detailing the company's origins, click here.
What's with the name?
maximum: adj: the greatest possible degree; "he tried his
utmost" [syn: utmost, uttermost, level best]
(source: WordNet 2.0, copyright 2003 Princeton University)
It's also an extremely obscure reference to interactive fiction from the nineteen-eighties, as if I needed any more geek cred.
There's a number of different reasons you might be here:
I have written dozens of plays, and produced, directed, and toured many of them to critical acclaim. They vary in length (everything from sketches and flash drama to multi-play cycles) and genre (everything from musical comedy to verse tragedy). If you are interested in producing any of these scripts, please check out this link.
I have performed at numerous poetry slams, and will also compose poetry in exchange for a small donation.
I am a storyteller who has written and performed one-man shows as far as Melbourne, Australia. I am a member of the Northstar Storytelling League and co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers, for which I served as Chair for the two years that position existed, as well as an occasional host of the Word Ninjas open-mic evening. In 2007 my storytelling show Descendant of Dragons was the bestselling show in its venue at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and my storytelling performances have been nominated for awards by local website FringeFamous for three years running.
I have a number of one-man shows available for hire at this link. I currently host what I believe to be the country's only recurring open-mic dedicated to speculative fiction, The Not-So-Silent Planet. This has recently expanded into a podcast, available at this site.
Director and Actor
I have written for the Minnesota Fringe Festival (when they had a team of in-house reviewers), Minnesota Playlist, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and mnartists.org. Most of my theatre criticism is cross-posted (after a contractually dictated period of time) to my personal review blog at Womb with a View.
I identify as a libertarian activist, and have maintained a blog detailing my thoughts about the subject at this link. Bewildering? I also maintain a LiveJournal account that links to the various updates to my online writing here.
Still have T-shirts with snarky quotes available at my CafePress store. If you'd like to throw some money my way to keep the wheels turning, that's not a bad place to do it.
I don't get it.
It's best not to think too much about it. At the end of the day, the title "Maximum Verbosity" is nothing more than words. But if Maximum Verbosity is about anything, it's about the idea that words are important.