From the publisher...

A.S. Waterman

August 2008


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 its due.

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

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Copyright © 2008 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.

 

 

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