Friday, March 30, 2012

Worth a Look

Here are some posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Designers - sign up to By Design Day 2012

PLASA: By Design Day, the annual fundraising day for Light Relief in the UK and Behind the Scenes in the US and Canada, takes place this year on Tuesday April 24 on both sides of the Atlantic.

Context is everything.

2AMt: In the rush to parse statements and assign blame this weekend, it seems like we’re missing the point. This isn’t–or shouldn’t be–an attack on Mike Daisey’s art or his ability. What’s on the stage–and on the page, in this case–is a dynamic, compelling, electric piece of theatre. Download it and read it, or go see it if you’re near a production of it. If you want to produce it, use that Creative Commons license as creatively as Cody Daigle did and open your audience up to a larger conversation.

Mac Wellman: Pushing Boundaries

HowlRound: When I had just left college and moved back to New York, I had the great fortune of meeting Mac Wellman. He was something of an idol of mine, having read his plays as an undergraduate. I couldn’t believe that he was willing to meet me and talk about theater. We met at Lupe’s, a small Mexican restaurant, one that he still frequents, and talked for a couple of hours. From that day forward, he turned from idol to mentor, as he spurred me in the pursuit of my own work as a director. Over the years I’ve had the chance to direct several of Mac’s plays including Fnu Lnu, The Fez, Description Beggared; or the Allegory of Whiteness, and Bellagio. Each play presents a distinct theatrical world, strange and familiar, odd and funny. His roots in poetry shine through in his carefully selected words that are evocative and playful.

Are women getting any closer to equality in theatre? In her 1970 book review of Eva Figes' Patriarchal Attitudes: Women in Society, Rebecca West poked fun at male repression of women in the workplace: "Once Freud and his disciples got a female on the analytic couch and found traces of intellectual activity, they attempted to persuade her that she … was seeking in work a substitute for the male sexual organ." West – who briefly trained as an actor – had personal experience of discrimination in the performing arts. In the 1920s, having already made her name as a novelist, essayist and journalist, she wrote a play and sent it to theatre managers. After 14 copies were "lost" (three of them by the then manager of the Birmingham Rep), she gave up. How, I wonder, would she have responded to the statistics compiled by Sphinx Theatre Company showing that women – 52% of the population – make up just 35% of actors, 17% of theatre writers, 23% of theatre directors and 9% of film directors?

Chasing Yale

Stage Directions: There is a very ugly, smelly disease among many, many people in our industry right now, and it’s called OMG WHAT IF I DON’T GET INTO YALE Syndrome. The symptoms of this disease are basically sweats and bad attitude about not getting into one of the “top” places to study Entertainment in some form or another.
I have three friends right now who whine about their degrees, and how they’ll never “make it big” because they didn’t get their degree from Yale. Or Northwestern. Or they didn’t study with Ming Cho Lee, so how on EARTH will they ever get their genius recognized? The perception seems to be that there is just a small cadre of schools who really matter, and if you study there, you are guaranteed a spot on America’s Next Top Designer (which I just invented and you may buy rights from me directly) or you get to star in your own sitcom, called Another Actor Makes It Big. This is a particularly pernicious fantasy. (Who wouldn’t want to take the chance at actually succeeding in the fashion that it seems people who go to Yale succeed?) But it is a fantasy all the same.

No comments: