Monday, June 02, 2008

The Wright Guard, page 1 - Arts - Seattle Weekly:

In and out of the sessions, playwrights talked a lot about new strategies to get their plays produced—working with local colleges and universities, encouraging mainstages and fringe companies to co-produce new plays, even banding together into collectives to produce each others' work, an increasingly popular model that's cropped up in Los Angeles (Playwrights 6), Minneapolis (Workhaus Collective), and New York (13P), among other places. Ki Gottberg—whose new show Hairy Baby opened at Seattle University's Lee Center the weekend of the conference—mentioned that her most successful model yet was the one she followed for The Compendium of Nastiness: She wrote a play for a single actor, converted her garage into a 15-seat theater (which she called The Womb), and ran the tech herself. The show opened in late 2005 and ran for eleven months.

As for me, the more I heard about the coming conflagration that will destroy our regional theaters, the more I thought about my own heroes—Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Tony Kushner. These playwrights, and men and women like them, have been saving the theater as long as I've been alive. It's time for those of us who write for the stage to stop thinking of ourselves as victims, and step up. Because history shows that time and again, every time theater experiences a resurgence into the popular culture, playwrights have led the charge.

9:54 AM