The Playgoer: Welcome Back

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Welcome Back

After a much needed break, Playgoer is up and running, but perhaps not up to full speed till later on this week. Too many shows to review over the last few weeks (some of them even still running!) and will get on that very soon.

I meant to sit down this morning and pen a tribute to fellow blogger George Hunka who shocked the theatrical blogosphere Sunday with his announced retirement! But alas, like a true blogger, he sees fit to write a clarifying post today. Like the old window cards used to say "Final Farewell Performance!"?

Actually, it looks like George took a moment to reflect and realize he wasn't really done but just needed to scale down his Superfluities. I'm glad, for his sake, remembered blogging can be many things. And daily posting is only one, quite taxing, form. The trouble is, many theatrelovers have come to depend on George being there each and every day with his cogent analysis and searching dialogues. So we'll all have to adjust. Meanwhile, this is a good opportunity to give him mad props on basically pioneering the form of a daily theatre blog, and for seamlessly blending theatre with other arts. Personally, I am grateful to him for his early support of this blog when I didn't even know him and only ten people I knew did. But, more importantly, I'm only one of several bloggers who could say the same thing. George has sometimes been called "dean of theatre bloggers" but I think of him--even more honorably--as "First Citizen." Not in the Napoleonic sense, of course. I mean that George has taught us all--by example, not lecture--how to be good blog citizens. Not just linking and open acknowledgment of his sources, but in his pro-active blogrolling and promotion of new blogs on his site. And as many of we theatre bloggers know, he has actively worked behind the scenes to create a more-than-virtual community through less-than-formal meetings, drinks, and theatregoing.

But, hey, I post truly to praise and not to bury. Since, gladly, there's still life in Superfluities yet. So to George I say: if you faked your blog's death just to attend the funeral and hear all the nice things we have to say to you... it worked! And you've earned it.

I'll also add how much I sympathize with the pressures of the daily blog. George writes about the dispiriting effect of the protracted debates and arguments such incessant posting inevitably gets one into. I've been in a few fights myself here. Superfluities, though, has been especially ambitious site, in both content and design (I mean literally, web design.) No simple Blogspot blogger he. I'm sure many of would love to run the kind of "cultural calendar" he's got over there, not to mention the huge blogroll and constant links. Providing a service, plus the soul of your own commentary, is indeed a recipe for burnout. As is apparent, I've kept my amitions modest out of just such concern.

And so once again we learn how the beauty of blogosphere is to each his or her own. Let a hundred flowers bloom. George has posted enough for a lifetime in three years, so if he wants to now do it once a week, that'll work, too. We'll enjoy it either way. I find blogging is best when bloggers follows their own drummer, their own pace, their own format. A newspaper must worry about "service to the readers." But in this (and perhaps only this) respect, I'm a pure Adam Smithean. Self-interest and happiness always leads to better product.

Luckily for Playgoer, summer is a grand time for blogging. So hopefully the pace here will only increase. Not to put any pressure on myself, of course.

Stay tuned.

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