The Playgoer: "Urinetown" & "Development Hell" threads

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

"Urinetown" & "Development Hell" threads

I've fallen behind on two hot topics this week, so let me at least pass on some links to those who haven't.

Mark Armstrong continues to have the goods on the ever-evolving "Urinetown" creative copyright disputes--including new statements from SSDC!

Jason Grote has some eloquent words in response to the recent controversial American Theatre editorial defending the new play development process in our nonprofit theatres. Jason, a playwright, has been on the receiving end of the worst of it, but also sees the merits and offers tips from the models that work. (Also check out the comments on Mark's original post, including some war stories from Christopher Shinn.)

For the bloggers out there, this may be old news already. But I'm still finding these conversations (with many further links and comments) engaging and urgent.

On the latter subject I feel like adding, after my previous post, that I agree with the commenter who argued in American Theatre's defense they are a trade publication. So it is basically their mission to advocate for (and, if necessary, defend) their membership--i.e. the nationwide LORT network of nonprofit professional theatres. Fair enough..... But still, doesn't that make American Theatre the proper forum some really informed constructive criticism at least? Editor Jim O'Quinn, obviously, is entitled to his opinion and it's his magazine after all. But I do hope they follow up with more of an open forum and solicit both pro and con statements. I'm sure the feelings of their membership and readership are in fact very divided, and they deserve to see the division expressed. As an official and supportive outlet, AT is in many ways the perfect venue to have that happened in a civilized way--and one that more people will read than a blog!

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