This is the fifth entry in a continuing series of guest posts. Our contributor is Karen Lange, one of the co-artistic directors of Pinky Swear Productions, an up-and-coming small theater company in DC. Karen is smart, sharp, and fearless, and I’m pleased to be able to share her thoughts. My intent is that her post will initiate a series of posts and guest-posts on the subject of the Helen Hayes Awards. ———————————————– Whereon the stars in secret influence comment — from Sonnet 15 The Washington Post is rightly famous for its investigative journalism… and the tradition seems to be living on in the Style section. Move over Woodward & Bernstein, here comes Nelson Pressley. Who ever thought there were so many secrets and so much intrigue in DC theater? Today’s Washington Post ran an article about the Helen Hayes awards and the public summit meeting they held in June to invite comment
This is the fourth entry in a continuing series of guest posts. Our contributor is Patricia Connelly, a fellow DC-based playwright and the co-author (with me and David Mitchell Robinson) of this year’s study of the 2013-14 DC theater season. Pat is a keen analyst of one vital story uncovered in the data this year, and I’m pleased to be able to share her thoughts. ———————————————– Yes, there’s much to celebrate about theater in Washington. As playwright Laura Zam said last week at Theater J’s Town Hall meeting, Washington is on the map as a theater town. The statistics bear that out. There are more shows, more theater companies, and more opportunities for theater artists than ever before. We collected information about 142 Washington area productions slated for the 2013-2014 season. And that’s not all that will be on Washington stages in the coming year. But what about the locally
Whenever I hear playwrights tell me they worked (for example) all weekend long and wrote the first draft of a new play, I get mad. I know I should be more patient, but in this regard (as in, sadly, too many others) patience doesn’t come easily to me. All weekend long? I can barely turn an incoherent idea for a play into a modestly coherent first few lines in a weekend. A first draft usually takes me at least six months. And that’s just a first draft: nothing I’d consider ready for production. In a similar vein, I’ve also heard playwrights claim to be able to finish two, three, or even four plays in a single year—not on one miraculous occasion, mind you, but year after year after year. I find this unfathomable. When I hear artistic directors and literary managers complain that the plays they read aren’t really finished, I think: some playwrights may not be exerting enough pressure on their work. Now… I may be a bit slower than most playwrights, but I
After last year’s analysis of the 2012-13 DC theater season, which focused on playwright demographics, I determined to expand the scope of this year’s study and, in whatever ways I could, to make the data more extensive and robust. With that goal in mind, I brought new partners into the mix for this year. Patricia Connelly and David Mitchell Robinson, both playwrights themselves, have a level of comfort with and understanding of data that helped ensure the statistical and intellectual soundness of the endeavor. We’ve collaborated in our research, and we’ve also put our heads together to figure out how to track the upcoming season, what data points to gather, how to make our calculations, and what conclusions we can safely draw. This blog post, furthermore, has been vetted by all three of us as well. This year’s analysis of the 2013-14 DC theater season explores more than playwright demographics; we’ve also taken a look at directors. In addition, we
To heck with the gatekeepers; I’m building my own castle. I’ve been waiting to say those words for so long now I can hardly believe they’ve actually become true. Actually… what I’ve been waiting to say, really, are these words: I am a Welder. For the last eight or nine months, my fellow Welders and I—playwrights and producers here in DC—have been working, scheming, meeting, planning, talking, discussing, writing, taking pictures, and wrestling with difficult questions… all, as you might imagine, as quietly as possible. That we’ve finally arrived at the day on which we can tell the world we exist feels like a tremendous relief. I’ve been wanting to talk about the things we’ve been doing for SO LONG… and I finally can! But I don’t want this blog to be the focus of of attention today: find The Welders on Twitter, why don’t you, and say hello!