The Shameful, Inevitable Result Of The Trumbull Art Controversy

March 12th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

Last night, a painting hanging in the town library in Trumbull, Connecticut was defaced, while in the same building, the library board was holding a meeting about the display of said painting. I wish I could say I was surprised that this happened, but to be honest, I’m not. I’ve been expecting it. I believe this was the inevitable result of a series of events that broke into public awareness two weeks ago, when the town’s First Selectman ordered the painting removed. Let’s review the Continue reading...

There Are No ‘Bad Jews’ In London’s Underground

March 7th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

It is the policy of London’s Underground, commonly known as "the tube," to not accept advertising which, in the words of it supervisory authority, Transport for London, “may cause widespread or serious offence'.” By judging posters for the West End transfer of Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews as potentially doing so, and therefore banning them, TfL may well be giving greater widespread offense for its oversensitivity, even if it comes from a place of genuine concern, which now rises to the level Continue reading...

Are These Modern Reviews of ‘This Is Modern Art’?

March 6th, 2015 § 3 comments § permalink

If, like me, you’re connected to members of the Chicago theatre community on social media (I’m NYC based), you’ve certainly seen an outpouring of reaction to two major reviews of the new Steppenwolf for Young Adults show, This Is Modern Art (Based On True Events). Since all perception of what’s being said on any subject in social media is mediated by who you ‘follow’ and who you ‘friend’ and what you like and retweet, I can’t possibly tell you what the prevailing sentiments Continue reading...

What Does Trumbull Have Against The Arts?

March 4th, 2015 § 18 comments § permalink

Remember Trumbull, Connecticut? That’s the town where a new high school principal canceled a production of the student edition of the musical Rent in the fall of 2013. The resultant outcry from students, parents, town residents, the media and interested third parties (including me) was such that three weeks later, the show was reinstated. It was produced at the high school in 2014 without any incident. After my advocacy for Rent, I hate returning to the subject of the arts in Trumbull, for Continue reading...

Religion And Theatre Education Clash Over McNally’s ‘Corpus Christi’ At A Virginia University

February 25th, 2015 § 12 comments § permalink

It is not, sad to say, news that controversy has surrounded a production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi. It is certainly not surprising to hear that such controversy took place on a university campus. But when one hears that Corpus Christi became the subject of controversy as a result of a production at a Christian faith-based university, the reflex is to wonder how anyone ever thought it could be done there in the first place. But the production of Corpus Christi that was to have been produced Continue reading...

Upon Receiving The DLDF “Defender” Award

February 24th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Last night, I was extremely flattered and honored to receive the second annual Dramatists Legal Defense Fund’s “Defender” Award, for my work on behalf of artists' rights and against censorship. My remarks were fairly brief (I know a little something about brevity and awards presentations, even when there isn’t an orchestra to “play you off”), so for those who have expressed interest, or may be interested, here’s what I had to say, following a terrific and humbling introduction by playwright Continue reading...

Arts Education, The ‘Whiplash’ Way

February 20th, 2015 § 9 comments § permalink

Perhaps you’re unaware of it, but there’s an arts education film up for an Oscar this year. And no, I’m not referring to something in the documentary short subject category, but rather a Best Picture nominee. Though it hasn’t been called out as such in any of the articles or reviews I’ve read, Whiplash is a film about the mastery of music set largely in and around a music school. But it has primarily provoked stories about how the film managed to give viewers the impression that Miles Continue reading...

The New School for Drama Announces Arts Integrity Initiative

February 13th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

No, I’m sorry, it’s not a blog post; it’s a press release. But if you’ll read on, I hope you’ll understand why I’ve placed it here, and indulge me this once. – Howard NEW YORK (February 12, 2014) – The New School for Drama (Pippin Parker, Director) announces the launch of the Arts Integrity Initiative, a new project aimed at supporting and protecting the work of artists at every level of society and production. Under the leadership of arts administrator, writer and advocate Howard Continue reading...

Why David Adjmi’s “3C” Still Has No Company

February 10th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

  Seen any good productions of David Adjmi’s play 3C lately? Sorry, that’s a trick question with a self-evident answer: of course you haven’t. That’s because in the two and a half years since it premiered at New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, no one has seen a production of 3C because no one is allowed to produce it, or publish it. Why, you ask? Because a company called DLT Entertainment doesn’t want you to. 3C is an alternate universe look at the 1970s sitcom Continue reading...

Alone At The Audience Engagement Event

February 9th, 2015 § 10 comments § permalink

When I first started going to theatre in my teens, I loved attending post-performance discussions and special seminars and panels about plays. They were my education, my chance to learn from artists about how and why they did what they did. I was so fond of the form, that I began moderating these kinds of talks at my college performing arts center when I was only 19, leading off with JoAnne Akalaitis and Athol Fugard in my first year. Once I began working at theatres, I’d pitch in when a literary Continue reading...