SHORT TAKES : Playwright Sees Audience Role

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Playwright John Guare says the burden of good theater rests not only with actors, directors and writers. Audiences need to shoulder their share of the load, too.

“The audience should demand that the truth be told,” Guare said Wednesday at a convention of the American Council for the Arts. “Not the TV truth of diapers and cat food, which has to be nice and likable or else you turn it off.”

Theater buffs must demand the kind of truth that makes one say, “I’ve been prepared for the great moments in my life--birth, love and death. I’ve been there before because I’ve been prepared by art,” he said.

Guare wrote the screenplay for “Atlantic City,” the Tony-winning play “The House of Blue Leaves” and the play “Six Degrees of Separation.”