Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Off Stage Conversations

Hello, it's Andie Arthur, executive director of the South Florida Theatre League and I'm here with Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at interesting articles and discussions from the national and international theatre communities.

Stop Complaining that Young People Don't Like Shakespeare

There's so much I agree with in this Melissa Hillman post about the accessibility of Shakespeare that I'm unsure where to start. But in her straight talk style, she hits on so many misconceptions that we build around Shakespeare. This is one of my favorite bits:
A stiff, formal production that doesn’t know what it’s about and privileges poetry over storytelling is not going to be compelling just because you used a hip hop soundtrack or “multimedia” or let people tweet during the show.
This is true of ALL theatre, not just Shakespeare.

Failures of Arts Journalism?

Bruce Ridge has a piece on the way the recent union disagreements at the Minnesota Orchestra and the closure of the New York City Opera were portrayed in the news. He specifically points out that no one focuses on the good and that musicians are being treated as greedy. While I do agree with a lot of what's being said here, I think that Ridge is missing where these attitudes intersect with the larger world. I think that the portrayal of musicians being greedy also fits into the larger distrust of unions narrative that is huge in today's media climate and it also misses that we expect people following what they love or who work for non-profits to not be well paid. I wish Ridge would have looked at why arts journalism are tapping into these narratives.

Engagement vs. Self-Promotion

Gwydion Suilebhan has a piece on the difference between engagement and self-promotion. It's aimed at playwrights, but it's good advice for everyone.

Innovation for Innovation's Sake?

Parabasis wonders if our drive for innovation is actually harmful to the long term health of theatrical organizations.

Artists and the Affordable Care Act

A resource for artists on navigating the new health insurance exchange. (For those who are able to log in, which would not include me at this point in time.)

Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress has a thoughtful article on why the Affordable Care Act is important for artists. You've probably heard or lived through some of these horror stories before, but it's a good piece for those who might not have envisioned life with a preexisting condition.

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