Monday, April 7, 2008

That sound you hear... Scott's head exploding in a fit of rage when he reads this.

Five jurors...four directly from the dreaded NYLACHI...and one formerly from NYLACHI.

For a national playwriting award. That, if I recall correctly, has only been awarded twice to plays that hadn't premiered in New York.

(h/t Parabasis, for pointing the way to the committee...)


isaac said...

yeah.. although i gotta admit, lumping Chi in with NY and LA seems weird to me. Im ean, are we going to lump in DC as well (which is the second largest theatre community to NY in terms of number of companies)?

A:OC is a play by a chicago playwright who is from the rural midwest about life in the rural midwest. isn't it okay to celebrate that?

Director said...

I like the tags you picked.

"On the internet, news of the day: Scott's head blowing up."


Freeman said...

Your tags are utterly fun. And way to kickstart a firestorm!

You did it!


I would have to say that L.A., Chicago and NY would not like to be equated. Very much. At all.

I think the midwest might've had a beer for good old Letts today.

Scott Walters said...


Chicago is a theatrical destination city for the midwest. Actors usually talk about New York, LA, and Chicago as being their "choices." So while NY, LA, and CHI may object to being lumped together (and, in fact, everyone hates being lumped together -- apparently it is necessary to talk about artists one at a time, which leads to extremely long blog posts...), they each represent a primary alternative.

Anyway, it is certainly "okay" to celebrate this Pulitzer, which doesn't mean you turn a blind eye to the process. That's why we have two eyes -- it leads to depth of vision. So: I hear A:OC is a great play -- yippee! And it was chosen by a bunch of Nylachi folks after a NY run. One might question whether, without the NY run, the play would have received the Pulitzer. One can only conjecture, but nonetheless the question is still valid.

isaac said...

i suppose, scott, although i will offer the ANNA IN THE TROPICS example (although you could always say its the exception that proves the rule).

My quesiton about Chicago being lumped in there is that it seems that chicago is a phenominally successful regional theatre city. of which there are very few. but ny is a destination for many becuase, thanks to the TV/FILM and commercial theatre markets,theres a sense that you have a better chance of making a living from art there and a better chance that what you do will matter to the theatre culture at large. On both of these points, I would say that people are to some extent mistaken in their thinking and their assumptions.

With LA, there's the film and tv scene writ uber-large, so there's a greater perceived chance of beign able to make it out there in television and movies. and there's a theatre culture that has at leastpartially grown out of htat.

chicago doesn't have as big a commercial theatre scene as NY and doesn't have a large tv or film business. What it does have is a lot of successful nonprofit theatre companies.

So is what we're saying is once you have a well developed scene, you immediately become a place that people shouldn't move to?

I still don't get it. Honestly. I understand why NY and LA are on the hit list... just not the CHI thing.

99 said...

Actually, even as a NY-er, I do understand why the CHI goes with the NYLA. Especially for an undergrad, but really for anyone making a life in the theatre as a choice, it seems like there are only three options and you choose them by the level of your commitment to theatre. Moving to St. Louis, or Independence, MO, or just about anywhere else doesn't land on most people's radar. And, in terms of the greater conversation in the industry, the only voices that get heard spring from those places, and the large-ish places outside of the NYLACHI axis seem to import from that axis as a matter of first resort. I don't think that Scott's saying that Chicago isn't a great regional theatre town, or that exciting work isn't being done there; it's more that when someone in the industry starts talking about the regional theatre they often ONLY mean Chicago.

Scott Walters said...

Exactly, 99!

And Isaac, I'd argue that you DO get it, you just don't agree with it, because you are defining the distinction in terms of mass media opportunities. But if I had to go on record, I'd endorse this: "So is what we're saying is once you have a well developed scene, you immediately become a place that people shouldn't move to?" Yes, Isaac, as counter-intuitive as that may seem, Chicago is full -- time to go somewhere else.

99 said...

Ha! Like the old Yogi Berra line: "Nobody goes there's too crowded"...