Thursday, October 30, 2008

Theater News - Shitstorm!:

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called "Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves" that included ideas such as providing child care, building bars, and a five-year moratorium on Shakespeare. The article pissed people right off: "Ten Things" was only 1,000 words long and it generated over 33,000 words in comments. (Samples: "Your articles are worthless, pretentious, uninformed, completely masturbatory..." and "I'd prefer [theater] if I didn't have to spend so much time clapping.")

The Seattle Rep asked if I would host a forum on the article. I suggested we resuscitate Shitstorm. On Monday night, about 150 people showed up for several hours of drinking, talking, shouting, and a closing sing-along to "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. (This was the first of what will be several nü-Shitstorms in the coming months.)

The crowd was a menagerie: playwrights; designers; directors from ACT, the Rep, and On the Boards; a swarm of angry actors; a few audience members. One of the Shitstorm rules is that whatever people say can be repeated, but not attributed. A few of the evening's comments follow.

3:43 PM