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Showing posts from July 27, 2008

And Another: Mirror Up To Nature

All of a sudden, the theatrosphere is awash in thoughtful posts, this one by art at Mirror Up to Nature entitled "Morality Bites." He raises a lot of great questions about morality in the arts, and whether critics should engage their moral values when reviewing. As an admirer of the late Partisan Review literary critic Lionel Trilling, I think that art should be assessed through a moral lens, by the3 way, in case you were wondering where I stand...
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Flyover on a Roll: Science and Art

All of a sudden, there are lots of fascinating posts appearing on Flyover, this one entitled "We have scientists on the arts, but where are the artists on science?" In this post, which starts with C. P. Snow's 1959 essay "The Two Cultures," which discussed the chasm opening between scientists and humanists, there is some talk about how artists have avoided discussing science, and cognitive science in particular. While I can point to a variety of plays such as Copenhagen that belie the argument, nevertheless the question is a good one. I'd just like to say that I wrote about neuroscience in my post, "On Dopamine, Proust, and New Plays," so I'm off the hook! Anyway, overall I think the question being raised is about a certain narrow focus to artists, a lack of interest in engaging in other areas of intellectual work.
   I'd like to bend that off to the left a bit by asking my artist-readers this: do you consider yourself as an artist to be a…

John Stoehr on Whining and the Arts

Over at Flyover, John Stoehr posts provocatively about the baby boomer generation as a "generation of whiners," and how this plays out in the arts. As a boomer myself (born 1958), I have to admit there is some truth in what he says, although unlike many of my cohort I am not pessimistic. That said, I'll ask a question: is the current discussion about a living wage for artists a generational thing? I think Mike Daisey is not a boomer, nor are most of my readers. When I read about the Millennial Generation, for instance, I often see described a desire for a balance between work life and private life, a focus on local action, and a desire to lead a rich, full life. And perhaps the current way of doing things doesn't support these values.

Stoehr goes on to describe the Boomer attitude thusly:

Why compromise when happiness — and many other things, I would argue, like the American Dream itself — is your right? This attitude as applied to the arts: People should care about t…

Marching Order Part 2

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About two weeks ago, I posted about a conversation I had with my in-laws about how new churches are supported and developed in the Lutheran Church, which by analogy provided a conceptual breakthrough for me and new "marching orders" for my efforts on behalf of theatrical decentralization. Yesterday, in a comment on Don Hall's post entitled "Exploring Money Assumptions in Theatre" (between my post about daddyland below and this one, I feel like carrion feasting on Don Hall's roadkill these days), RVCBard made my head explode in millions of stars when she wrote about the relevance to theatre of the concept of "radical welcome" being promoted in some churches across America. (Be sure to click on "marching orders" and "radical welcome" and read before continuing, or else this discussion will seem incomplete.) RVCBard writes: "I know people are funny about religion, but you gotta admit those church folks know how to get butts i…

daddyland On Theatrical INteraction

Over at Don's place, a commenter named daddyland has laid out pretty clearly some of the things that many of us have been saying for a while about liveness, presence, and interaction:

In response to Don's "Exploring Money Assumptions in Theatre," daddyland wrote:

A couple thoughts...

I am not a theatre industry person, I choose to go directly to film/tv. I could even see 20 years ago that all my drama/theatre profs/coaches were feeding me a line of bull that the theatre would be relevant in 15 years. I had just gotten my first taste of the internet and I knew things were about to change radically.

The theatre isn't relevant or accessible to the average man nowadays. And they don't want their taxes going towards it either. It simply cannot compete on any level with huge plasma tvs and the Home Theatre/Internet connected TV.

I saw Metaluna on last Thursday. I thought it was brilliant. The performances were all outstanding even though at times I struggled with the…