From the publisher...
Out With the Old
It won't be long until we flip the calendar to a new year. Each
new year brings a slew of resolutions and
plans, and of course, that's a good thing. However,
before we decide where we're going, it helps to
take a long look at where we've been, because in
many cases we don't want to go back there. Thus,
here is TheatreLouisville's end-of-year list entitled "Out
With the Old,"
and we hope it will help all of us
"Ring in the New" with better things.
23, The Courier-Journal published an article by Andrew Adler, bemoaning
a supposed lack of variety in holiday offerings.
As I pointed out in my online rebuttal, he apparently
didn't look very hard. There's Alley Theater
of Louisville: O' Santa's Beard Where Art
Thou; Bunbury Theatre: Christmas Belles; Hayswood
Butterfingers Angel, Mary and Joseph, Herod the
Nut, and the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a
Pear Tree; Shelby
County Community Theatre: Over the River and
Through the Woods; and WhoDunnit Murder Mystery Theater: A Christmas Carol Murder. And that's just in theatre.
Wonderful holiday and non-traditional offerings
are also available from The Louisville Chorus,
Locust Grove, local art galleries and much more.
But if one keeps looking only at the same things,
what does one expect to see?
Ars Myopia is thus the first item on our "Out With the
list. Journalists, arts fans
and the wider community, please take note.
Checking It Only Once
... that is, making a list but not checking
it twice. Once again, pettiness has raised its
ugly head within the theatre community, with instances
of soliciting cast members away from other productions,
retaliating against reviewers (and in one extreme
case, even against a reviewer's spouse), sending
anonymous hate mail, and the like. Such behavior
reflects poorly on the entire theatre community,
and it poisons the air for all of us.
think things through before we put our plans into
action, checking and rechecking our lists, and
then checking our knee-jerk reactions at the door.
To paraphrase Scrooge, out upon ill will! It never
should have come in, in the first place.
Mi, Mi, Mi
By that, I mean the "me first" principle, not the
vocal exercise. (Actually, I love opera.)
Stuff happens, and sometimes people may find themselves truly unable
to fulfill the commitments they've made. There
is such a thing as being too ill to perform, or
having a personal or family emergency. It goes
without saying that producers and directors should
always have a Plan B — and, ideally, Plans C and D. Yet during
this busy season, when productions overlap as well
as super-size, it may be difficult enough to fill
out a single cast and crew, let alone
one with understudies and
Wouldn't it be great if theatre groups could loan understudies
and off-season performers as easily as they exchange
a bit of costuming or props? And even more so if
theatre groups would communicate that option to
one another? Maybe Theatre B doesn't have an actor
who's a very quick study and who fits the physical
parameters needed by Theatre A ... but then again,
maybe it has, or better still, someone who has
played the role in a previous production. (Occasionally,
our tendency to choose the same plays does work
to our advantage.) I have seen it happen, and I've
seen it make the difference between a thriving
production and a financial catastrophe.
In theatre, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
If we are the ones who must unavoidably exit too
early, let's do everything we can to help those
who remain on the other side of that door. If we
are responsible for a production, let's share, offer
and communicate. And whoever we are, let's sweep
the insular mentality out with the trash.
Okay, Now Break a Leg
Please send us your candidates for the "Out With the Old" list. We'd
love to publish them. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all who
have sent us feedback and comments throughout our two years of publication. You
have helped us to get better, and in so doing, have helped the entire theatre
Best wishes to all for a very happy and successful season!
— A.S. Waterman
Copyright © 2008 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.