What's the Big Idea?

The Crises in Book Reviews

By Gwydion | May 17, 2022 | Comments Off on The Crises in Book Reviews

The following is the text of a keynote address I gave at the Day Eight arts journalism conference entitled “The Crisis in Book Review.” Thank you. I’m delighted to be here, and also very honored to be following three people whose achievements and intellect I admire so much. The premise of this event we’re all […]

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To Move Forward During the Pandemic, Go Back to Basics

By Gwydion | May 9, 2020 | Comments Off on To Move Forward During the Pandemic, Go Back to Basics

In 1960, a Turkish immigrant named Erol Onaran arrived in the United States with a whopping $32 in his pocket and a fair bit of skill as a television repair person. Erol was a man full of energy and ideas and creativity, and all he wanted to do was make sure people were connected to […]

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Passing the Torch

By Gwydion | Jun 29, 2016 | Comments Off on Passing the Torch

Knowing when to go is hard for anyone… but it’s harder still, I think, for people in leadership positions. Leadership means responsibility, for one thing, and stepping down feels like abdicating that responsibility. Leadership comes with privileges, too, and we all know how hard they are to give up. More subtly, over time, leadership becomes a […]

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Playwrights and the New Play Exchange

By Gwydion | Jul 20, 2015 | 9 Comments

People say that if you really want to experience the seedy underbelly of humanity, to uncover our darkest impulses and encounter people at their absolute ugliest, you really need look no further than the comments section on pretty much any article you find anywhere on the internet. But I am here to tell you all […]

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The Arts and the Practice of Technology

By Gwydion | Apr 26, 2015 | 7 Comments

I was invited to give a keynote address to the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations. My subject: how technology is transforming the relationships between artists, audiences, and arts institutions. The transcript follows. I need to start my talk by asking what I think is a very important foundational question: what do we think technology IS? […]

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Giving Books Away

By Gwydion | Sep 19, 2014 | 6 Comments

In the 1930s, if you were really rich and needed a libel lawyer, there was only one person you called: Macdonald DeWitt. He was, in many respects, the Johnny Cochran of his day; his OJ Simpson was the NY Post, which he defended successfully. Descended from a wide variety of wealthy early Americans, many of […]

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Science in the Theater

By Gwydion | Apr 22, 2014 | 12 Comments

Science has been much on my mind of late, thanks to a visit I made not long ago (with a dozen or so other playwrights and theater makers) to the National Institutes of Health. Three hours considering the potential intersections between genomics, bioethics, medicine, and storytelling with some of the most accomplished scientists and artists […]

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All Stories Are Lies

By Gwydion | Apr 1, 2014 | Comments Off on All Stories Are Lies

In the last few hours leading up to April Fools’ Day, you may have noticed several people posting any number of warnings to friends on Facebook and Twitter: “Do not be taken in,” they all said, “by the crazy stories people post.” Were there more of those admonitions this year than in the past? It […]

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Confessions of a (Former) Language Conservative

By Gwydion | Jan 13, 2014 | 6 Comments

A few years ago, while procrastinating on Facebook, I happened upon a status update, written by an artist I admire and with whom I have collaborated, that included the phrase “could care less.” If you’re anything like me, you have just cringed; you’re painfully aware that the correct phrase is “couldn’t care less,” and your sense […]

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Theater of Belonging

By Gwydion | Jun 10, 2013 | 23 Comments

I live in the United States of Me, a nation populated almost entirely by people I’ve friended, people I follow, and people who follow me. I live in the United States of Me, and you (most of you) live in the United States of You. We belong to and participate in social networks running on algorithms […]

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