Sunday, April 02, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Ars Nova’s Brilliant Career

The New Yorker: n a Monday night this winter, at a gala in a Beaux-Arts former bank downtown, the young playwright Rachel Bonds, whose luminous “Sundown, Yellow Moon” is currently onstage uptown, made a showstopper of a speech, on a night not lacking in potential showstoppers. The event was a fund-raiser for the nonprofit Off Broadway theatre and artist incubator Ars Nova. It had a Russia-in-winter theme—bear-shaped ice sculpture, stilt walkers, faux-fur hats—in honor of the company’s first Broadway transfer, Dave Malloy’s “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.” It featured songs from the show, performed by Malloy, Josh Groban, Denée Benton, and others. But when Bonds spoke people made sounds of amazement: as Ars Nova’s playwright-in-residence, she said, she was paid a salary and given benefits. Good benefits. “I actually went to the dentist,” she said, to “ooh”s. “I also had my first child.” Prenatal care, delivery, everything, was covered by her Ars Nova health insurance. “He’s eight weeks old, and it’s my first night away from him,” she said. “So that tells you how much Ars Nova means to me.” After her speech, she went out to the street and got a car home. Inside, the party raged on, with vodka and accordions.

At Seattle Opera, the real drama is offstage

KUOW News and Information: In mid-March, Seattle Opera general director Aidan Lang’s assistant called his scene shop manager Michael Moore to request a meeting.

Moore had no idea of the bombshell Lang was going to drop.

Disrobing “The Foreigner” at a Minnesota High School

Arts Integrity Initiative: Context is everything.

If you ask the average parent whether, in the abstract, they want to hear a student, any student, saying the n-word from the stage of their local high school auditorium, the answer (hopefully) would be no. Put that word in its full context in the musical Ragtime, or in the plays of August Wilson, and those familiar with the works may feel differently.

Diversity for Dummies

HowlRound: The first thing to say about this “Quick Start” manual is that I’m a dummy myself. In all the years I’ve grappled with diversity, the one constant has been recalibration. What was diverse ten years ago is privileged today, and today’s diversity models will become obsolete in the coming years. Historically disenfranchised groups are just now finding their voices after decades, even centuries, of silence. Diversity requires periodic check-ins, assessment, and retuning.

Invisible Disability in Theatre: Why I May Not Want to Tell You I Have a Disability

HowlRound: Working in the theatre with an invisible disability can be challenging. While most buildings have a ramp to allow a person who uses a wheelchair to get into the building and there may be handrails in the bathroom for patrons with mobility challenges, an artist with an invisible disability like my Tourettes Syndrome (TS) or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) doesn’t need a change to a physical structure. Instead I need accessibility into people’s minds. However since my disabilities are “invisible,” how are theatre administrators or directors supposed to know that I have a disability or the kinds of accommodations that I need?

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