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October 10, 2008


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Not even Totally Awesome Theatre Company's production of "Brighton Beach Memoirs?" (That's their spring show.)

Nick Keenan

Totally Awesome Theatre Company is one of the most exciting 3-month old companies I've seen on the scene for years. You should totally check them out. But yes, BBMot3fothA was not a good choice for their inaugural and possibly final production.

I might add that their child care is top notch. While I think adding both child care and alcohol services to your theater's operations at the same times of day might be an insurance hazard, these are really solid points.

Except for this in the comments: ".. you don't have to pay royalties for any theater under 400 people, and usually not at all because it's for educational purposes."

I guess that'll save our company some money this year... Open season on royalties for storefront theaters! If only it were true. Nah, I actually ENJOY supporting playwrights who are willing to give us an opportunity to premiere their play for the midwest.

Paul Rekk

Finally got around to reading the Stranger article, and I actually have a huge beef with nos. 1 & 2 because they display exactly the sort of thought process that makes them unnecessary problems. We need to stop defining new work as new words.

Yeah, if all your start-up is looking to do is a play that people know to make up for the fact that they won't know anything else about you, then knock it off -- you're eating up all the resources. If, on the other hand, you're putting up a classic because you know that you can rock the shit out of it (and rock is very much the operative word) like no one has rocked the shit out of it before (and by that I mean not better, but actually in a style, conceit, adaptation, etc., way that no one has before, at least in recent memory and in your market) then by all means go for it. That's what theatre needs: not words, ideas. And new ideas sometimes manifest themselves as new words, but t'ain't a requirement.

Example: Compare the last two or three seasons of The Hypocrites and Actor's Workshop (excuse me, Redtwist). A veritable greatest hits of the theatre world on each end, and even a little overlap between the two. One of these things is not like the other. And one of these things is just more of the same.

Original theatre is not defined by the words spoken. I've seen enough hackneyed, cliche-ridden, bound to never be produced again world premieres to know that. And just enough twisted, razor's-edge, hit and run versions of 'safe choices' to do the same. But far, far more of the former than the latter. And no one's addressing that problem. That problem that Rule No. 2 is only going to make worse.

Zev Valancy

My personal rule? No more of these lists. Some of the points are decent (childcare, alcohol), some are utter bs (no living wage, no Shakespeare, no grad school), but the list in general seems designed more to congratulate the author on how forward-thinking and rule-breaking he is than to actually offer help. Who needs it?

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Who? What?

  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

    Any opinion expressed here is solely that of the author or commenter. No opinion expressed here can be assumed to represent the opinion of Time Out Chicago magazine.

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