Sunday, February 19, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Chicago Theatre’s Gender Breakdown (It’s Not Good)

AMERICAN THEATRE: A new independent study shows that when it comes to gender parity, Chicago’s theatre scene still has room for improvement. Chicago-based artists Kay Kron and Mariah Schultz conducted the study as part of Kron’s master thesis at DePaul University. According to their findings, in the 2015-16 season, out of 250 plays at 52 theatres, 25 percent were written by women and 36 percent were directed by women.

V-Day in TrumpLand: Exploring the Relevance of “The Vagina Monologues”

THE INTERVAL: In 1996, activist, performer and writer Eve Ensler debuted her play The Vagina Monologues in the basement of the West Village’s Cornelia Street Café. The show became a major hit, and Ensler used her success to combat violence against women on an international scale. In 1998, she created V-Day, “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls,” and, to celebrate V-Day’s 15th anniversary in 2013, she founded 1 Billion Rising, “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.” As part of the V-Day movement, Ensler allows college and community theatre productions of The Vagina Monologues to be licensed for free during the month of February, with the understanding that proceeds from these benefits will be donated to charitable organizations aligned with V-Day’s mission.

A Battle for Contextual Criticism

Exeunt Magazine: New York theater criticism is having a week. Where is my fainting chair and good strong drink?

It’s been a while since we had a bona fide criticism kerfuffle but I wish this one did not exist. The dispute that arose this week somehow queries whether contextual criticism is “serious” criticism. I can’t quite believe I have to defend the merits of theater criticism which responds to the work’s place in our time.

What Has Equity Won in Los Angeles?

AMERICAN THEATRE: The decisive blow came last December. After years of vociferous wrangling, legal and otherwise, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed a lawsuit filed by Ed Asner and a group of plaintiffs against Actors’ Equity Association, which contested the union’s actions in its campaign to organize the region’s small theatres, with the goal of requiring them to pay minimum wage to actors. And so on Dec. 14, a predetermined deadline for Equity’s new 99-Seat Theatre Agreement kicked in, and the old L.A. 99-Seat Plan—a pact that for nearly 30 years had allowed Equity members to work in theatres under 100 seats in L.A. County for small performance stipends, as essentially volunteers, leading to a local theatre scene that blossomed in quantity, if not in numbers of paid work weeks for union actors—was kaput.

As Trump Mulls Funding Cuts For The Arts, An Artist Argues Against The NEA

NPR: NPR's Scott Simon talks to David Marcus, a senior contributor to The Federalist and the artistic director of a theater company in New York City, about defunding the National Endowment for the Arts.

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