FlyOver: December 2007 Archives
Earlier this week, our AJ blogging neighbor book/daddy linked to a short but funny bit on Craigslist. In that spirit, I wanted to share a favorite bit of my own: "To: Guy Who Screamed Obscenities at the Ballet the Other Night." If you've been working as hard as my fellow bloggers have been lately, this should provide a much-needed chuckle (and it's really not that far off-topic if you consider our recent posts about sports vs. arts, audience behavior, etc.) Enjoy!
Though it's purely coincidental, the last two plays I've seen in Madison have revolved around issues of disability.
I caught the opening of "Tidings from the Seasonally Affected," the new show from Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, which describes itself as "the only professional theater company for people with disabilities in Wisconsin" (and I'll take their word for it).
Written by Encore's artistic and executive director, KelsyAnne Schoenhaar, and Wendy Prosise, "Tidings" looks at the holiday season from the perspective of a young woman who is moving from an institution to a small group home. The play is set in 1977 ("the golden age of group homes," according to the program notes), as deinstitutionalization created significant change in the lives of those with physical and cognitive disabilities. "Tidings" is a serio-comic look at these issues, ranging from pointed observation to goofy musical interludes between scenes (my review of the show will appear soon in Isthmus). It's also a welcome offering for those seeking holiday fare off the Nutcracker/Christmas Carol path.
On Saturday, I caught one of the final performances of "A Nervous Smile," John Belluso's drama about three parents of children with severe cerebral palsy. It was staged by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's University Theatre, with MFA students acting and directing.
While "Tidings" looks at issues of disability largely from the perspective of those living with disabilities, "Smile" considers the psychological strain that able-bodied parents of disabled children can feel--leading to potentially rash actions. A wheelchair user himself, the late Belluso based his play on a real-life incident in which two parents abandoned their disabled child in a hospital emergency room.
Although these two shows are utterly different in tone, they both gave me something to think about as a person who is not faced with disability issues every day. As a theater-goer, I appreciate seeing work that's socially engaged but, for the most part, not heavy-handed.
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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