Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Off Stage Conversations

Hello. It's Andie Arthur, executive director of the South Florida Theatre League, with this week's Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at what's being talked about in the national and international theatre community.

Sometimes You Just Want Mac and Cheese

Travis Bedard uses a great metaphor in equating personal taste in food with personal taste in theatre. So often we equate our personal taste with what is good. But really, theatre is much more like food. Some days you're going to be adventurous and try a new cuisine, and some days you're going to want comfort food. And some people may really dislike a certain dish, but that doesn't mean it's bad or wrong -- it just means they don't like it. Bedard expands the metaphor, looking at how we define risk and offers some great suggestions.

Speaking of things I don't like...

Hannah Hessell (writing on Gwydion Suilebhan's blog) has a post that says everything I have ever wanted to say about David Mamet. There was a lot of discussion last week in response to Mamet's Newsweek article on the nature of the division between art and artist. A lot of people who love Mamet's work don't like his politics. Hessell sums up basically everything that I would have said before I had a chance to say it.

I realize that not liking Mamet's work is unpopular in South Florida, but going back to the first post -- not everyone likes the same food. Some people dislike pizza.

Why is So Much Theatre So Dull? And Other Good Questions

It's been a great week for theatre critics to ask hard questions. Chris mentioned in Mondays are Dark that Peter Marks, the Washington Post Theatre Critic, asked if too many regional theatres pull their seasons from what was popular on Broadway and off Broadway last year.

Meanwhile, Lyn Gardner of the Guardian asks why so much theatre is so dull?

I love that critics are asking both of these questions.

Price and Experience

The Guardian has another piece on how the price you pay for a ticket is related to how much you enjoy the experience. Counting New Beans actually matches up this observation with data.

On Diversity and Mission

Clayton Lord (the main driver behind the Intrinsic Impact Study and Counting New Beans) has a great piece on how we evade questions on diversity with mission.
"A mission is a driving principle, not a shield. Unless your mission is “we make art for white, old, rich people,” that pain you’re feeling at the thought of diversification isn’t mission-based, it’s bottom line based.
And Something Bittersweet

Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes has been suffering from Alzheimer's for over a decade. She's recently been moved to a new nursing home in New York City, which allows the theatre community to visit her in her final days, which over 2,700 people petitioned for.

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