With just a month to go in 2012, the odds are you’ve already seen what you might propose for the playwriting awards ATCA adjudicates. (If you need a refresher, click to read about the $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award or $1,000 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for an emerging playwright.) Submissions go to new play award chair Bill Hirschman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-478-1123. For the criteria, limitations and process involved …
After 20 years, John Lahr is stepping down as chief theater critic for the New Yorker, where he won the George Jean Nathan Award in 1994 (he had previously won it in 1969 for reviews in the Evergreen Review and Village Voice). Living mainly in London, he had been reviewing only about half the time; his colleague, Hilton Als (who himself won the Nathan Award for New Yorker reviews in 2003), will now have the job to himself. More.
Conference organizer Lou Harry bids us welcome to Indianapolis, “the home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and the place that gave the world Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman. Conference offerings will include the Midwest premiere of Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre, a performance of Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a trip to the new $118 million Center for the Performing Arts for a concert by Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein and a visit to Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives, plus lots more… .
Oct. 27 – Friends in the Pittsburgh theater community gathered Saturday to celebrate playwright Tammy Ryan for winning the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize and witness her receipt of the $10,000 check from Foundation ATCA, funded by the Primus Foundation. (Although the prize is announced at the ATCA conference in June or or July, the check isn’t available until fall.) While the prize recognizes “an emerging female theater artist,” the cake everyone shared expressed the community’s feeling that Ryan long ago emerged as a force in Pittsburgh theater. (For more on the 2012 Primus Prize, click here.)
Chicago, Oct. 11 — And that’s the news: ATCA welcomes the executive committee of the IATC, meeting now in the Windy City at the same time (but separate from) ATCA’s own executive committee. IATC elected representatives attending are Mark Brown (UK), Jean-Pierre Han (France), Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (USA), Yun-Cheol Kim (Korea), Ivan Mendenica (Serbia), Don Rubin (English Canada), Margareta Sorenson (Sweden), Akiko Tachiki (Japan), Michel Vais (French Canada) and Xian Zhang (China).
The Philadelphia Inquirer, the leading paper in the country’s fifth largest city, which has helped nurture a vibrant theater scene (some 50 professional companies) and maintained a long heritage of regular Broadway coverage, has decided to do without a full-time theater writer/critic. On Oct. 1, its critic of 10 years, Howie Shapiro, was reassigned to the paper’s South Jersey bureau. Whatever he was going to cover there is now moot, because after 42 years with the paper as an arts and travel editor and theater critic, Shapiro has just decided to take a buyout.
(For comments Shapiro sent to a critic colleague, click below and scroll to the end of this story.)
More than Shapiro are involved in what the Inquirer represents as reallocation of resources but many see as major cost- and coverage-cutting.
Andre Bishop, Betty Buckley, Christopher Durang, Michael Kahn, Trevor Nunn, Paula Vogel, Sam Waterston and the late Martin Pakledinaz form the 2012 class of the Theater Hall of Fame, announced yesterday by Hall producer, Terry Hodge Taylor. That’s a pair each of actors, directors and playwrights plus a producer and costume designer, chosen from a slate of 51 nominees by an electorate made up of the ATCA members and previously elected members of the Hall of Fame.
The 42nd annual induction ceremony will be held Jan. 28, 2013, at 7:30 PM in the North Rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre, where the names of Hall of Fame members are inscribed on the walls in raised gold letters. (For the fullest list of members, go to the Hall’s website, www.theaterhalloffame.org.)
The balloting has gone slowly, and with a small electorate, every vote counts. The deadline for the ballots to arrive in New York has been extended to Monday, Sept. 17, 5 pm. If you mislaid your ballot, email Chris Rawson. This is one of the perks of membership. Vote now!
There’s been a spate of recent comments on criticism as chastisement and/or advertising (mainly of books, but we see the connections). For links to pieces by Richard Brody (newyorker.com), Jacob Silverman (slate.com), David Streitfield (nytimes.com), J. Robert Lennon (slate.com) and Dwight Garner (nytimes.com), click below. Here’s a teaser from Brody’s “How to Be a Critic”:
It’s as silly to deplore nasty criticism as it is to deplore snark or wit or sarcasm or just plain crankiness. It’s how we are—it’s how I am—and nastiness is as inseparable from criticism as it is from family life, from politics, from business, from the playground, and, for that matter, from art itself. One of the defining qualities of art is its implacability—its representation of violent and dangerous emotions, its ardor for and even embodiment of the negative, the destructive, the repugnant. Art is a place of maximal danger; it endangers the soul of the artist no less than the soul of the reader or viewer or listener. Exaltation comes at a price; sublimity, after all, involves a type of terror.
Great news: former ATCA chair Bill Gale continues to recover from a two-week hospital stay which included a quadruple heart bypass operation and another to insert a pacemaker. For his take on it all (he calls it “Heartless”) … .
James Anthony Kilker, husband of long-time ATCA member Marie Kilker, died Aug. 16, age 86, in Bradenton, FL. Jim was known to ATCA from the many conferences he attended and as co-host with Marie of ATCA members and guests at a tour of Paris for critics in November 1999.
Don’t miss this opportunity to vote — it’s a benefit of ATCA membership. If you want to know more about the Hall of Fame, go to the Hall of Fame link under the Awards button on the ATCA website. If you have further questions, email one of the ATCA members on the Hall’s Executive Committee, Chris Rawson or Jeffrey Eric Jenkins. The deadline is Sept. 15.
Organizer Lou Harry bids us welcome to Indianapolis: “Central Indiana is looking forward to welcoming you to the home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and the place that gave the world Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman. Conference offerings will include the Midwest premiere of Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre, a performance of Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a trip to the new $118 million Center for the Performing Arts for a concert by Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein and a visit to Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives, plus lots more… .