Theater and a sense of home
Perhaps one of the reasons the Flyover blog mission resonated with me so much is because theater has become so integrally connected with place in my mind.
Yes, theater is about art. I might argue, though, that it is more essentially about connection. While the primary connection may be between people, a strong tie exists between theater and place.
When people ask me, I say that my home is Lansing. This is despite the fact that I spent half my life in Westland. Westland is where I was born (well, OK, Garden City, but close enough), where I was raised, and where I met my husband. It's also where both my family and my husband's family lives still. Yet, even when I go back it is as a visitor and I no longer even think of it as "coming home."
The reasons for this are very much tied up in theater. Theater is what makes Lansing more than just a geographical place where I reside. It is what makes it home. It is the place where wherever I go, I'm going to run into someone I know despite being in a town of more than 100,000.
I do try to see theater when I travel and one of the things that I've discovered is that theater has a different flavor wherever I go--even when the same shows are being done. Much of that flavor comes from the audience and what the audience is giving back to the show. Anyone who has gone to see the same show multiple times will attest to the fact that every performance is different no matter how much the performers try to make it the same. It's different because each audience is different.
So it isn't surprising when communities become possessive about their theater--referring to it with possessive pronouns even when all the production efforts are done by individuals with little to no outside support. It's because the theater is part of what has turned their community from political boundaries on a map to a home where there is a shared memory of connecting with other individuals about what is important to them on a very local level.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
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
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog