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September 25, 2007


Semi-Anonymous Experimental Theater Designer

Welcome back! I admit, I WAS wondering why you weren't updating. Sorry to hear about the anxiety, but stick through it! We need to hear your voice! (We as in the people working in the theater who often fear but more often agree with your voice!)

RE: the lack of representation of downtown experimental theater in the off-broadway scene -- I suggest that you meet the people who run those theaters and you will have the answer.

The larger theaters in this city are run by conservative, unadventurous, boring and vain people trying to get their pals from grad school a break while making a buck and a name for themselves to move on up to Broadway. The grey area between Broadway and Off-Broadway is a mix of upwardly mobile idiots and cemented-in-place dinosaurs trying to dictate new theater without taking any risks (yes, it's often a result of what it takes to raise funding for these bloated productions). A broad generalization, I know, but I must resist the urge to lay down specifics.

And there is still the overriding and irrational worship of the playwright to contend with. Almost every producer aches to discover the next Stoppard or Churchill, getting behind anyone with a semi-memorable name and clever vernacular. They don't know what to make of companies or directors conceiving new work, aside from the occasional cooption.

Perhaps long-time, self-sufficient companies such as The Wooster Group and Richard Foreman laid the groundwork for this assumption that all experimental artists belong (and are happy) downtown in little sweat boxes existing as ambrosia to an intellectual theater class and adherents to Artaud, only rarely leaving their hovels to see the light of off-broadway or (gasp) broadway...

Just a thought... you might totally disagree. I hope Prelude goes well. Wish I could see 31down's piece in it!

Love the blog! Keep posting, or at least post links to your current writings. You're our best voice, David!!


Congratulations on a YEAR !!!



"...the overriding and irrational worship of the playwright..."
Ouch. You know, we're really nice people once you get to know us, we scribes.

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