Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Celebrity Bravo » Adam Rothenberg:

It seems to me that those people who romanticize New York, worship New York, make beatific our dear Broadway, need some education. That's true. But you can't blame New York for the way non-New York theatre people see New York. The Wal-Marting of the American theater, to the degree it exists, is enabled and celebrated at home.

And look -- one can argue that when an Atlanta theater mounts a play and the play is picked up for New York, that's the Wal-Martization of the American theater, too. Ditto if you have an actor trained outside of New York who then comes to New York and makes it big, Beth Leavel-style. But when a play is mounted successfully in New York and regional houses pick it up, that brings income -- tangible, substantive success -- to playwrights. If you take someone like Steven Dietz, whose plays are always done in Seattle and who lives in Seattle and Austin, I believe -- well, his situation really gives the lie to what Walters calls a lie, for Dietz proves that New York need not always be the center of the Dionysian universe. This lends credence to Mike Daisey's argument that there needs to be far more encouraging of non-New York arts communities to celebrate their own within their own, if you will, and that the temptation to indulge in the hagiography of New York must be resisted -- again, at home. New York isn't to blame for great branding -- non-New York communities are responsible for uncompetitive branding.

12:35 PM