Follow Friday: 12 Feb 10


This is the day when, if you’re on Twitter, you highlight someone you follow and suggest that the rest of your friends follow them as well. It’s called Follow Friday, or #ff for short.

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We have our own version of the tradition here, even if it sometimes appears on Sunday. These are the stories, posts, trends and folks we’ve been following this week.

Michael Wheeler on the vitality of ecosystems.
First, you should read this article by J. Kelly Nestruck about “how the Windy City is blowing Toronto away” as the third-biggest capitol of theatre behind New York and London. Then you should read Wheeler’s response, as an artistic director in Toronto. And finally, you should scroll down through the comments to Wheeler’s response and check out Nick Keenan’s thoughts as a theatre professional in Chicago. A fascinating conversation all around.

Scott Walters on whether or not “Art Works.”
Some thoughts about Rocco Landesman and the meaning of words like “excellence” and “validity.” Do you think Rocco’s playing semantic wordgames, or do you think he has a point? Do you think Landesman’s assertion that “there’s nothing I’d retract in what I was saying” will play in Peoria?

Chris Jones on a few good producers.
This article spurred a heated conversation on Twitter this past week. We present it without further comment.

Adam Thurman on those who do not know their history.
Sage advice here. And we’re not talking worst-case scenarios here. We’re talking realistic, plausible, probably scenarios. How do you plan for them? Better yet, how you overcome them? And all things considered, maybe it would be a good idea to keep track of your own organization’s history, both good and bad. Imagine what you–and if you share, we–could learn from that history.

Sean Williams on Fringe benefits.
If you’ve ever considered producing at a fringe festival but haven’t taken the plunge, you might want to take a look at this, a good description of the highs and lows, good and bad, pro and con of doing a fringe show. It is, as they say, a gimlet-eyed view of the process.

Mark Fisher on the definition of theatre.
While some of us are busy trying to define what a new play is (or #newplay, as the hashtag may be), the Guardian’s theatre blog is asking point blank, what is the definition of theatre? Is it motorcycle stunts or pre-recorded 3-D video? (And really, how is it more 3-D than what’s going on live, in person, right in front of you?) In short, are we losing sight of the live event?

David Dower on long devision.
That last entry leads right into this, Dower’s explanation of “devised work” as a prologue to the next Arena Stage conversation next weekend, February 19 and 20. If you’re curious about who’s going to be be there, check out who’s going to be in the room. You might recognize a few names from here. Travis Bedard will be live-blogging the events all weekend at the New Play blog, and David J. Loehr will be live-tweeting at the New Play twitter account. Join the conversation even if you’re not in D.C., and check out the live event “How the Devising’s Done: Theater Mavericks Talk Process” Saturday, Feb 20 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.

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