From the publisher...
Ready, Set, Launch!
It's August, and theatre groups across Kentuckiana are revving up,
preparing to launch the new season. I'm delighted
by the variety of offerings — from Shaw to Neil Simon to several
Kentuckiana originals, with only one scheduled production of Oklahoma! and none of The
Odd Couple or Sylvia. I'd like to think TheatreLouisville
had a hand in that, but either way, we're pleased. On Sept. 1, the
2008-9 season listings will be available as a downloadable month-by-month
chart, so if you haven't yet sent us your schedule, please do.
Persevering in the hope that our messages are being taken to heart
(and we know that they are at least being read, judging from the volume
of feedback), here are a few mild rants directed at reviewers, media
and theatres alike. I hope they'll be taken in the spirit of goodwill
in which they are offered.
"Hire Yew Wall"
That's Kentuckian for a greeting and polite inquiry
about someone's health or, in the language of
my former home in Massachusetts, "Hawaya." Fellow
theatre critics, what is the issue with accents?
We all have them; it's just that people who have
similar accents don't perceive them as such. Believe me, as a New
Englander, the accents are there. So, is Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams
or Neil Simon better served by a Kentucky accent than the one for
which the scripts were written? Using the intended accent certainly
helps to take the audience where the playwright intended it to go.
No, not all actors handle accents flawlessly, but with each attempt,
they get better. Let's give them credit for that and stop complaining.
What's Your "Event"?
The Courier-Journal has launched Metromix, a new
find-it feature. It gives you listings of TV shows, restaurants, bars
and movies at the click of a mouse. But what about theatre? It's lumped
in under "Event," along with festivals, wine tastings and
gallery displays. Oh, you can still find live theatre listings in
Friday's "Extra," but they're usually relegated to the back
pages, and with professional offerings listed after the student productions.
With all sincere respect for student productions, that order makes
little sense, and the C-J's music and art listings are not presented
that way. Wake up, C-J. A lot of hard work by local
talent goes into
those live productions, and little if any into TV shows or movies.
You are a local paper. Please act like one, and give local theatre
Fishing Too Deep
Theatre groups — and I can see those feedback forms
flooding in now — 'fess up. Have you tried to
lure an actor away from another production? solicited
auditioners for your venue at someone else's? badmouthed another director
or theatre group? The talent pool here is vast, and you don't need
to do that, but I've seen several such instances lately. These can
only create ill will, and that won't help your production or the theatre
community. Let's continue to work together, support one another and
create the finest live theatre offerings anywhere in the country.
I think you know that we can.
Okay, Now Break a Leg
I'll be seeing many of you soon as you once again
take to the stage and the stands. Again, thanks for the wide array
of choices. Louisville deserves and continues to get the very best.
— A.S. Waterman
Copyright © 2008 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.