Showing posts from December 30, 2012

Ascendance, Descendence, Reverence, and New Beginnings

In an essay entitled "The Deep Voice" in his book Rebuilding the Front Porch of America(a book that I recommend everyone in the arts read), Patrick Overton talks about the "ascendant" and "descendent" functions of the arts, both of which are crucial polarities forever linked. The ascendant "reveals what isn't but could be," and the descendent "reveals what is but shouldn't be."

This blog has focused on the descendent function. For seven years, I have almost relentlessly focused on the problems with our current theatrical system.
I talked about bare employment facts: that 87% of Actors Equity members last year made less in the theatre than did someone flipping burgers at minimum wage (i.e., less than $15,000), and that 58.3% didn't make a dime. Things are no better for playwrights -- the 250 working playwrights who were interviewed for Todd London's book Outrageous Fortune that included people like Albee, Dietz, and Congd…