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Follow Friday: 26 Feb 2010

02.26.10 | Comment?


CATEGORIES conversation starter, follow friday, funding and support, ideas, marketing, rabble rousing, social media, the process, theatrical ecosystem

Check it. These are the stories, posts, trends and folks we’ve been following this week. There’s a little bit of everything, from the power of blogs to the Humana Festival, from digital theatre to building the world of a show.

And no, there’s not a word about “devised work.” (Well, not really…we don’t call it devised work…)

Thomas Graves on making the world in which we want to live.
Performance is ephemeral. We accept that and move on. It is what we do, what we create. But what about the worlds we create to house that performance? Thomas Graves of the (awesome) Rude Mechanicals of Austin, Texas, considers how and why he builds what he builds–what any of us build–in the course of a production.

Ken Davenport on the kindness of strangers.
There’s a new site called Kickstarter which, if you don’t know about it, you ought to check out. It is, in their own words, “a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers…” That’s you, right? That’s what we thought.

Ellen Gamerman on the migratory patterns of playwrights.
Warren Leight wrote Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Marsha Norman wrote In Treatment. Craig Wright wrote Lost and Six Feet Under. Diana Son wrote Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Aren’t they playwrights? Good or bad, weal or woe, that’s where the money is. One week of work for television pays more than a single commission for a play. Considerably more, in many cases. Outrageous fortune indeed.

Chris Wilkinson wonders about the power of bloggers.
This post at the Guardian website focuses on the British theatre blogging scene, but illustrates the liberating power of blogging. Or at least its potential. Too many people assume theatre is purely artsy types memorizing words. They don’t realize that carpenters, painters, electricians, seamstresses, these are all “tradesmen” making a livelihood in live theatre as well. Blogs like these–not to mention this one–help get all these voices into the conversation.

John Hayden on keeping your marketing plan nimble and quick.
Did Google Buzz come out of nowhere and make you reach for the no-pest strips? (Do they even make no-pest strips anymore?) What’s the next big social media on the horizon? Or is it a medium we haven’t even considered yet? And as a non-profit, how do you develop a marketing plan for a platform that doesn’t exist? Can you bend like the willow, or are you stiff as the oak? (Do you even know what I’m talking about when I talk about no-pest strips?)

Actors Theatre of Louisville on the (maybe) next big things.
This week, the Humana Festival of New Plays starts up its 34th iteration. The Rude Mechanicals will be there with their Method Gun. Greg Kotis will be there examining the relationship between playwrights and actors as some kind of cop show parody. And Sean Daniels and Deborah Stein will be pulling a heist at the nearby 21c Museum Hotel. And those are just the plays I want to see…

Josh Spero on the (maybe) next next big thing.
Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and others make it easier to plug in and tune out from the comfort of your home. What if we could do that with theatre? No, it’s not the same experience, not at all. But why can’t we archive these ephemeral performances, make them available after the fact? (I’d love to see the 1987 Lincoln Center Anything Goes again, for one.) Not only do we preserve precious gossamer in some form, we might be able to attract new audiences who have no idea just what we do. If you like what you see, why not come sit in the room with us next time? Digital Theatre is thinking along these lines.

Jim Tune on having it your way.
Last week, we highlighted a new model for subscriptions that Seattle’s ACT is trying. This week, we’re taking a look at it from the patron’s side. How does it work, is it a plausible new model? It’s growing slowly, compared to the average number of normal subscribers. But it is growing. Sounds convincing from where we sit…

DeeDee Correll shows that in marketing, context is everything.
In Colorado Springs, some outdoor advertising for the tour of Avenue Q is stirring some people up. Apparently, Lucy the Slut is too risque. Buttoned-up Rod is acceptable. We’re thinking someone in Colorado Springs hasn’t seen the show or heard the score. Or else they really do have girlfriends up in Canada.

Are any of you heading out to the Humana Festival of New Plays? Are you interested in a 2am tweet-up? Say the word over on Twitter–use the #2amt hashtag to let us know–and we’ll see what we can do.

David J. Loehr

David J. Loehr

Writer / Producer, The Incomparable Radio Theater :: Artist-in-Residence / Producer, Riverrun Theatre Company, Madison, Indiana :: Artistic Director / Editor, 2amt :: Panelist, The Incomparable podcast :: Husband, father, cat owner, cat bed.
David J. Loehr

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