The Playgoer: Now it's a story

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Now it's a story

As posted on NYT.com Monday night, Jesse McKinley has now published a followup to his breaking of the "Rachel Corrie" story exactly a week ago. The piece makes clear the story is not over, and new news is not good news for Jim Nicola and NYTW at this point.

"Nut graphs":

And in a sign of heightened tensions between the two theaters, the Royal Court
also issued a statement to address "factual inaccuracies" in a letter posted on
the workshop's Web site and assertions made by James C. Nicola, the workshop's
artistic director.
In particular, the Royal Court's statement took issue with the workshop's assertion that the planned production of "Rachel Corrie" was not definite, saying that press releases had been finalized, previews set, budgets approved, flights booked and tickets listed for sale. "I don't want this to become a spat between two theaters," said [Royal Court spokesman Ewan] Thomson, who faxed a copy of the statement to The New York Times. "But there were certain factual inaccuracies we wanted to address."

On the surface, these questions of plane tickets and press releases may seem petty and immaterial, especially to the outside observer. But the squabble over them does seem to hint at larger discrepancies behind the scenes. Simply put, the Royal Court is bristling at NYTW's attempts to effectively disown the show. Nicola's way of denying a "wavering commitment" has been to say...there never was a firm commitment in the first place! No schedule, no announcement, blah blah blah. That's where the Royal Court is now poking holes.

Nicola is out of town these days, according to the piece. Managing director Lynn Moffat stands by the "postponed, not canceld mantra," wondering why we all still don't get it. Royal Court offers an appropriately dry riposte:
"A postponement at any time, but especially at this late stage, is not the action of an organization committed to producing 'My Name Is Rachel Corrie,' " the [Royal Court] statement read, adding that there was no assurance that the political climate in the Middle East would change anytime soon.

Exactly.

Oh, and by the way, check this out:
In New York, the playwright Christopher Shinn — a member of the workshop's extended artistic ensemble, the Usual Suspects — also published a short essay online calling for more playwrights to come forward to protest the workshop's decision."If I were a young playwright, I would get the message loud and clear: don't write political plays if you want to get them produced," Mr. Shinn wrote.
(emphasis mine)

Playgoer readers may of course recognize this mysterious "online essay" as familiar.

Thanks, NYT.

(You think they're gonna give you a medal, Playgoer, after love letters like this?--ed.)

3 comments:

MattJ said...

I wonder when blogs are going to begin to be recognized as reputable sources of opinion and information, instead of a generalized euphemism like "a short essay online" ?

Alison Croggon said...

Some of them are beginning to be, mainly in politics, and mainly in the US - witness the pickup of the blog feature by mainstream online newspapers. But Playgoer, it seems, is doomed to be the shadow behind the spotlight...virtue is its own reward, as Plato said, or Socrates, I forget which, but that always seemed a little crappy to me...

George Hunka said...

I wouldn't worry so much about it, this is a gradual process. Clearly you've been the lead on this, and I think that's recognized, by everyone except the Times, anyway. Without your efforts, I'd have had nothing to drone on about for the past week or so.