What can we learn from the birth of the regional theatre movement? Which arts administrator has reached a mass-critical critical mass? Where did Verdi and Shakespeare work to support their writing habits? How many theatres are we going to have to occupy? Why do we call it play?

These are the stories we’ve been following at 2amt this week. This is Follow Friday.

Michael Kaiser criticizes the blogosphere
Mr. Kaiser is afraid of the rise of the citizen critic. As Adam Thurman points out , his fear is justified, even if we disagree with his conclusions. Goodness knows Travis Bedard, Jeremy Barker and Isaac Butler did. That’s why I’m reaching out to Mr. Kaiser while in DC this weekend.

Simone Scully on the vox populi
Of course, citizen criticism might be even more widespread than Mr. Kaiser thought. At the TCG website, a profile of Barrington Stage and their iCritic project. Walk out of the show, step into the booth & record your reactions to share with the world. What’s next for iCritic? What if it could travel from theatre to theatre? What if it were mobile?

Howard Sherman & Peter Marks, together again for the first time
Conveniently enough, all this talk of criticism in the age of Twitter comes to a head the week Arena Stage hosts Howard & Peter in the Kogod Cradle, talking about the role of critics, the use of Twitter and the brave new world of interaction & engagement. The event will also be streamed live at NewPlayTV and archived for later viewing. Right before the event, we’ll be hosting a 2amt meetup at Arena from 3pm until 5pm, so if you’re in the DC area, come on down and say hi. Stay for the event, maybe we’ll all critique it afterwards.

Diane Ragsdale on making a living
Another theme emerged this week, from Zelda Fichandler’s speech on the history of the regional theatre movement while giving an award to Blanka Zizka of the Wilma Theater, from Michael Dove of the Forum Theatre’s meditation on their words and his call to change “non-profit” into “social profit” to my own post on the idea of staff playwrights as opposed to resident playwrights. Naturally, Diane is right there with a few more “outlandish suggestions” on making a living as an artist in the regional theatres.

Ben Brantley occupies theatre
As the Occupy __________ (choose your nearest protest) movement grows and gathers support, Ben Brantley takes a look at the 99% in the world of theatre, from Willy Loman to Mike Daisey, all the way up to the Civilians’ latest production, inspired by interviews conducted at the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park.

Scott Stratten on being awesome
Archived video of the Livestream of Scott’s keynote address at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference this past weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. The main takeaway? People follow awesome. Be awesome. Stop marketing and start engaging. Is it really as simple as that? Watch and find out. Hint. There’s a reason his website is called UnMarketing.

Garry Wills sings of Verdi & Shakespeare
You might be surprised by some of the similarities between the two. “Both were supplying performances on a heavy schedule, to audiences with a voracious appetite for what they wrote. In a career of little over twenty years, Shakespeare turned out thirty-eight plays…Verdi had a longer career of fifty-four years…in which he created twenty-seven operas…” Wonder if being core members of their own companies had anything to with that. Makes you think.

working with conviction

Katherine Catmull on the uses of joy
There is a reason what we do is called “play.” The women of Conspire Theatre remind us of this in the amazing work they’re doing with the women of the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle, Texas.

  • November 18, 2011