OBIES 2011: Take This Job and Fill It

The theater is missing some major figures. Who'll step up now?

I don’t mean to say that it isn’t already happening. I urge it on because it’s already there, and I say that it will defy the gun we’re under, and will prove more important in the long run than all the media jargon and accusatory crud spewed out these days over anyone who tries to do anything good or valuable or even moderately honest and meaningful. I see artists with spaces making homes and chances for other artists; I see chances cropping up everywhere. In the weird boom-bust of our unstable economy, I see vacant real estate, which always means a place for new theaters to roost if they have strong arguers or good finaglers to give them a hand. La MaMa lives in a former pretzel factory; Wilson’s Circle Rep began in the vacant loft above a supermarket.

True, friends with deep pockets helped them out, but theaters have an amazing gift for acquiring friends. When people start muttering about the grim future, I think of the past, when people also muttered, constantly, that there was no longer any hope for acting, for playwriting, for anything creative to happen in the theater. “We give birth,” says Beckett’s Vladimir, “astride a grave.” Pessimists see the grave; optimists see the birth.


Check out photos from the 56th Annual Village Voice OBIES here
Check out video from the 56th Annual Village Voice OBIES here
Leigh Silverman: A double directing deed—Obie winner for In the Wake and Go Back to Where You Are
Chad Griffith
Leigh Silverman: A double directing deed—Obie winner for In the Wake and Go Back to Where You Are

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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