A Critical Conference
Okay, so I took a little "break" from blogging. In the interim, I watched newspapers slide even deeper into the abyss, got scared, wrote a bunch of reviews and features (one that required me to interview children's novelist Jerry Spinelli, which makes me an awfully cool mom), and applied--and was accepted to--graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. Isn't that what you do with your time off? And hey, maybe you didn't even notice I was gone, so it's all good.
In any case, I'm planning a blogging blitz this week, starting exactly tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, when the 2009 American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) holds its 36th annual conference this year in Sarasota, Florida. The organization is going with the circus metaphor, Sarasota being the home of John and Mable Ringling, but I think it's also a pretty appropriate location for a profession that's being forced into early retirement. I mean, Sarasota may be culturally ascendant--and certainly, it is one of the state's theater centers--but Florida didn't earn the nickname "death's waiting room" among my mishpucha for nothing.
I'll be down there taking notes and passing them on to you. (Shhhh, don't tell anyone, I don't wanna get detention--detention for theater critics being some form of Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, though not Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, because we'll be seeing that one voluntarily, and because I kind of like it.) I'll also be Twittering about the conference every chance I get, using the hashtag #ATCA (unless someone prefers that I just stick with #theatre), and hopefully with some input from you and from my esteemed colleagues. If you have any issues you'd like me to raise, by all means send them my way. And if you haven't signed up for Twitter yet but are online reading this blog entry, well, at this point you're just being perverse.
Alongside the theatrical smorgasbord and festive wine and dines or meet and greets, there will be much discussion about the state of theater criticism in this country. I fully expect this year's conference to be perhaps the most, um, critical in ATCA's entire history. Hope you'll join me.