Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Quickies

It's an interesting thing about previews. I believe in them fully and always schedule at least 4 before an opening but I sometimes wonder at the "get it open so we can make some real money" mentality that truly seems to place the quality of the work in second place.
We have found ourselves bound into a format of 3 weeks rehearsal, jam in tech week {what a misnomer that is} into really about 4 days and then into previews and fall face forward into "community opening" then opening opening { the real one since the critics are invited.} They may not show up but one can always hope.
This is a pretty wacked system. It sacrifices artistic growth to a nebulous ideal of maximizing revenues.
I have been working to push budgets to give Obsidian 4 weeks before tech but that also presents some interesting challenges. We are all somewhat trained to the 3 week model and I don't know if either actors or directors truly know how to expand the process to richly fill 4 weeks.
Anyway this is all a bit of a segue into

Are preview performances worth it?

My rant and the link don't match up too much but hey, you take the road as it comes open.

Something that has been long done here and is a continuing source of very, very slow progress between the indie arts community and Equity.
Artists are doing it for themselves

Is Stephen Sondheim the Shakespeare of musical theatre?

'nuff said.

Late breaking addition: All-too-fleeting pleasure of the Actors Company

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Writing About Africans

When writing about Africans:

"Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life—but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause."

Read more of How to Write about Africa

h/t 99 & Ta-Nehisi Coates