I will say this. The irony of complaining about citizen bloggers in a post at the Huffington Post is a beautiful thing.
This wave of participation isn’t going to roll back. As came up at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Louisville several times this week, you can opine all you want, but it’s not going to change. The way we engage and interact–as artists, as audiences, as critics professional or not–is evolving. If you want to move forward, you need to adapt. Embrace the change and work with it. Are you going to help lead the way or bitch and moan about being dragged along behind? Or are you just going to tell everyone to get off your lawn?
Here’s the thing. This weekend, Howard Sherman and Peter Marks will be talking about this very subject at an event at Arena Stage. Twitter and theatre, critics and laymen, audiences and engagement. The event will be streamed live and later archived at the NewPlayTV site. I will be in D.C. for this as well–we’re going to have a 2amt meetup at Arena from 3:00 pm until the talk begins at 5:00 pm. If you’re in town and free, come on by.
I’d like to invite Mr. Kaiser to join us, but I’ll understand if he can’t make it. 2amt meetups are usually a healthy blend of actors, playwrights, designers, journalists, directors, audience members, you name it. In many cases, when we have these meetups, we’re meeting in person for the first time. We’ve been brought together via Twitter and the 2amt conversations there, or through hearing about this website at conferences like NAMPC. I know this particular event will have a few people coming from out of town just to get together before and after the talk itself. And, as always happens at these meetups, I know everyone will talk not like strangers just meeting but like old friends who haven’t seen each other in years.
That kind of instant engagement can be daunting. I know, I’m still getting used to it myself. So I completely understand if he doesn’t want to come to the 2amt meetup or the talk.
But. As long as I’m in town, I’d be happy to come down to Foggy Bottom and have a drink with Mr. Kaiser. Heck, I’ll buy. Coffee, tea, something stronger, doesn’t matter to me. I’d just like to take a few minutes to introduce him to what’s happening on the ground, what’s truly possible now and what we can do moving forward.
If nothing else, they do have a nice lawn…