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Showing posts from April 22, 2007

Daisey -- Late to the Party

It is the last week of school, and it has been one damn thing after another, so I didn't really have time to follow the Mike Daisey dust-up. Yesterday, I watched the You Tube video, and today followed a few links.

To my amazement, given that Garrett Eisler and I didn't really see eye-to-eye on the Rachel Corrie issue, I found myself sharing Eisler's evaluation of the situation. Often in this space I have engaged my fellow bloggers over what seems to me to be the hypocrisy of theatre artists who create performances that are designed to provoke and then are outraged when somebody actually responds to the provocation! Such artists love to be outrageous, but then are outraged when their spectators adopt the style themselves. So much of In-Yer-Face theatre is built on the assumption of the passive audience who will sit quietly while the artist assaults it. This is a fairly recent model.

Theatre audiences at least since Shakespeare's time, and probably long before that, h…

Succession in the Arts

Andrew Taylor, the Artful Manager, draws our attention to a recent report concerning the succession of youth into non-profit arts organizations. Since many of my fellow bloggers are young(er) artists, I wonder if they might care to comment on this report.

Why We Should Care About Theatre's Effect

Over the course of the last year and a half, there have been many arguments as to whether theatre actually has an effect on the audience, and if so, whether theatre artists should care about the effect. I have argued that all human beings, artist or not, should be committed to making our world better, not worse. It is a foundational value that I continue to hold, and that I try to live by.
However, there have been many who have doubted whether the arts have any effect at all, particularly among those who oppose government funding of the arts. But artists themselves have been very selective about promoting this idea, tending to rely on it when writing grant proposals, and abandoning it when creating their work.
Below are excerpts from two recent books that seem persuasive to me, and I think should give us pause as we decide on theatre's contribution to society.
This is from Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, pp 52 - 55:
1. Primed for Actio…