Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Daze

I think the people that I admire most in theatre are trying their best to make something beautiful and provocative and powerful (though not necessarily all at once). But I'm not a critic, in the sense that I'm biased, even if I don't think I am, or mean to be. I can't help it. Even critics are biased, btw, but the difference is they don't work in the theatre, they comment on what theatre people create. I can't really do that here, nor would I ever want to. It's so subjective anyway. All I would want to do is describe productions that Tommy and I went to, and let other people know about them too. So I guess I'm a Boston theatre booster, of sorts. I just like going to plays. They are, usually, WAY better than a movie (especially now a days: what a bunch of CRAP coming out of Hollywood right now!) And I think a great city needs great theatre, that it MAKES a city great. So I'm more interested in new plays, by Boston writers. By experimental productions that are created here. I'm not so much interested in warmed-over Off-Broadway hits from last year in NYC, though I understand why people would want to see those plays. I guess I want Boston to be Boston, and NYC to be NYC. I never liked the monopoly that NYC seems to have over theatre. If the only stories being told on the stage are from NYC, then where is our voice, where are OUR stories?

I also don't like the idea that only "real" actors live in NYC. It's an old idea. The NYC myth needs to be dismantled, I think. Audiences don't care if an actor comes from NYC anymore. Actually, I think they care more about whether the actor lives with them, in their neighborhood, and is telling a story that they share together. That there is a CONNECTION between this actor and the audience. It's called a COMPANY for a reason, and I am saddened more and more when I feel that this concept is being erased from our theatres. In this era of Twitter, and FaceBook and the internet and blogs (like this one), I think people really yearn and search for something stable and solid. I find it difficult to support a theatre that ignores the talent at its own doorstep, year after year, yet claims to be a part of our community.

I like to support theatres that recognize and hire and nurture local artists and actors and directors and designers. It's the only way Boston will make itself a theatre destination. Otherwise, we are just a repository for New York's sloppy seconds.

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