Monday, June 15, 2009

Mondays are Dark, June 15, 2009

A Tale of Two Playwrights

Christine Dolen has been beating the drum for hometown playwright Tarrell Alvin McRaney for a little while; Friday she dedicated an article to the subject:
He is writing new plays for the RSC, Manhattan Theatre Club and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Though it has only been two years since he earned his master's degree in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, McCraney has had his work produced in New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, New Orleans, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, London, Barcelona and Dublin.

But not, so far, in Miami.

In contrast, Nilo Cruz, whose play Anna in the Tropics was commissioned by Coral Gables' New Theatre became the first play in history to win a Pulitzer without a New York production. Cruz has had a number of his plays produced locally, and his play A Bicycle Country is set to open in New York.

More from the Drama Queen

Dolen also covers several upcoming shows, including Alliance Theatre's production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie, and Ground Up and Rising's nomadic production of On an Average Day. And Dolen also talks about Monday's play reading at the Promethean Theatre.

Lessons Learned

Mission Paradox is a blog by an arts marketer, for those of us in the arts. Adam Thurman reviews his first year with his current employer, and shares his experiences with us. Most critical, and something we'd all do well to remember:

People need to enjoy their work.
People need to feel like they have a chance to accomplish their goals.
Without those things, you don't have much.
I'm resisting the urge to email this to Actors' Playhouse my old employers.

Speaking of Marketing...

Ken Davenport of The Producer's Perspective notes the difference between purchasing theatre tickets online versus just about anything else:, clothes, electronics, etc. are all e-shopped items that can be delivered, but buying a theater ticket requires you to get off your couch, determine your method of transportation, block out time to see the show (there ain't no pause button), and physically get your American Idol watching a$$ down to the theater.
But this isn't a message of doom!
...these challenges are not insurmountable. As I've said before, I believe that as more of these two dimensional forms of entertainment become available to us, the three dimensional form or the "live" entertainment experience becomes that much more rare, and that much more valuable . . . provided the experience is still special.
I think he's onto something; you can go to see a movie, or wait for it to come out on DVD. But live performances, even if taped, don't really "keep" all that well. The experience is about being "in the moment" with a limited (evend if sometimes large) group of people. Live theatre always has some unique property to each performance, no matter how tight the production is.

And even MORE on Marketing

Are you making good use of Facebook? These producers in India sure are!

Road Show
According to the Carbonell Awards blog, if you've seen all 39 eligible shows that have opened since the new year, you've driven nearly 2,000 miles.

There ought to be an award for that.

Meanwhile, in Palm Beach...

...the Royal Poinciana Playhouse is still closed.

The town may be headed toward a legal showdown with Royal Poinciana Playhouse preservationists over a proposed referendum intended to protect the shuttered theater from demolition.

In a memo released to the public Tuesday, Town Attorney John Randolph wrote that the proposed ballot language is vague and arguably conflicts with state comprehensive planning law.

In a nutshell: a ballot initiative such as the one from the Palm Beach Theatre Guild can't be applied to less than 5 parcels: the Plaza in question consists of only two parcels.

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