Us and Them

JohnWaters.jpgOn Thursday I'm heading down to Baltimore for Theatre Communications Group's National conference. However, I'm not attending just to have cocktails with opening speaker John Waters (though that would be nice), or to spy on the show folk (though I probably will). I've been invited to participate in TCG's "Press Summit," which will place a whole bunch of artistic directors in a room with a whole bunch of theater critics, on camera, for two hours. If that sounds a little like an aesthete's version of a cage match, well, don't get your hopes up. You don't really want to see us in unitards, do you?

The good/bad news is, we're all meeting for a common purpose, because these days critics and the critiqued are neighbors on the same leaky, uncomfortable, storm-tossed ship. With theater companies and newspapers closing at roughly the same rate, we're all looking a bit green and hoping for a cabin with an ocean view, if only to get some fresh air and see what's ahead. TCG hopes this summit will be that cabin.

Joining me on the panel will be--among others--Bartlett Sher, who just enjoyed the pleasure of Mr. and Mrs. President's company at his production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Lou Bellamy, artistic director of St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre Company; Raelle Myrick Hodges, a former Philly homegirl, who founded Azuka Theater and for some reason left to go somewhere else not half as cool (Okay, fine, she won a NEA/TCG grant and is now artistic director of San Francisco's Brava Theater Center. Congratulations. Whatever. We miss her.); and Emily Mann, artistic director of Princeton's McCarter Theater. There are other, equally esteemed directors attending, along with plenty of rising and established critics (Okay, fine, the New York Times' Jason Zinoman; Time Magazine's Richard Zoglin; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Christopher Rawson, among others), and the whole thing will be moderated by Judy Rousuck, former theater critic for the Baltimore Sun, and current critic for WYPR, Baltimore's NPR station. And sorry for the extreme editing--I've been told blog readers won't stay focused for very long, so trust me, there are about 20 of us and we're all pretty good at what we do.

We're charged with discussing the present challenges and future adapt-or-die strategies of theater and its media-based parasitic twin, as well as hopefully coming up with some answers. I'll blog and Twitter from the event and give you a link to TCG's video when it appears, but know this: if Mr. Waters joins me for cocktails, you're gonna have to wait.

June 2, 2009 7:14 PM | | Comments (0)

Leave a comment

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.