Wednesday, October 23, 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 what's being discussed in the national and international theatre community.

Looking at the Deeper Implications

Sarah Bellamy wrote a piece for TCG responding to the controversy over a production of Miss Saigon in Minneapolis. There's a lot to unpack here, but she makes the point that as theatre producers we need to examine how the art and stories we create reinforce imperialistic values.
What Miss Saigon raises so powerfully is our need to overwrite atrocity with palliative stories that position defining moments of American history as mere footnotes to a larger narrative of helplessness and benevolent cultural exchange. Rather than look frankly at who we are, where we’ve been, and use that to imagine a better future, we keep remodeling the past, as though it’s a beautiful but decrepit mansion we are desperate to inhabit.
As we're in the most diverse area in the country, we (as theatre practitioners) need to be more mindful of how stories we might assume are for everyone are actually coded for white people.

A Faint Hearted Feminist

Julia Jordan has adapted her amazing speech on gender parity from the Dramatists Guild National Conference into an article. It's both heartfelt and full of data.
Arguing about bias or merit is silly. Artistic directors don’t pick plays based on merit; they pick them with biases their minds, history, and culture have created. As the human mind develops, it learns from what it sees and hears. It does not learn what it does not see or hear. No one is immune to bias. Not even artistic directors.
I recently got into an argument about meritocracy with a local producer. Julia Jordan responds to this claim with a lot more eloquence than I did. However, if you need more convincing and have time to read a book, I highly recommend Chris Hayes' Twilight of the Elites, which looks at the failure of the meritocracy in our political and educational systems.

How Television is Influencing Theatre

Jonathan Mandell writes on eight ways tv is influencing theatre for HowlRound. (Also... has anyone seen Mr. Burns? Is it as delightful as it sounds?)

Post Show Discussions

John Walton writes for the Guardian on how to make post show discussions fun and avoid the dreaded "How did you learn all those lines?"

Facebook's Effectiveness

Ron Evans writes for ARTSblog on how facebook has gone from an effective social media outlet to reach people to one that is much less effective... unless you're paying.

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