Why Was Longtime Oregon Children’s Theatre Director Suddenly Fired?

“The departure of McKeen, one of the city’s most prominent arts leaders, comes as something of a shock. He’d been OCT’s managing director since 2008. Before that he spent several years as a grant writer and fundraising consultant for several Portland arts organizations, served a year as the first manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust, and spent three years as general manager of Portland Center Stage.” – Oregon Arts Watch

Source: Oregon Arts Watch

It Took A Netflix Movie To Shed Light On Playwright August Wilson’s Vision

Well, not in the theatre world, obviously – but in the wider world, Netflix carries some pretty solid cultural cachet. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is the first of Wilson’s plays to be adapted for the streaming behemoth. Its director says Wilson’s play is all too relevant in 2020. “It would be lovely one day if it was a lovely piece of nostalgia about the difficult complicated racial equation of 1927. But that’s not going to happen for a while.” – NPR

Source: NPR

Seattle Theatre Leaders Help The Arts World Understand How To Go Far Beyond Lip Service To Anti-Racist Changes

Theatre leaders met in May to hash out a response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the extrajudicial killings of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people. “They were beginning a process to overhaul the entire ecology of their field, at every level — casting, staffing, fundraising, boards, tech crews, audiences, everything — and inject anti-racism into its DNA. … If this broad coalition of theater makers effectively transforms one part of the arts world in one city, it might just set a standard that can be exported — not simply to other arts disciplines, but to other sectors in America that are struggling with the deep, pervasive and seemingly intractable problem of institutional racism.” – Seattle Times

Source: Seattle Times

Theatre That Steps Outside The Theatre

“We are all here because we believe in the power of theatre, right? We think it has the power to change minds, to catalyze conversations, to shift narratives. But we most often limit that to what’s on our stages, with the goal that our mostly wealthy, mostly white patrons might see our groundbreaking show and say, “Wow, I never knew that.” But if we approached theatremaking as cultural workers, we wouldn’t be measuring success only by the number of tickets sold, and our programming choices wouldn’t be driven primarily by the institution’s need to sustain itself.” – American Theatre

Source: American Theatre

Performers Angry As One Of Australia’s Fringe Festivals Adds Non-Disparagement ‘Gag Order’ To Contracts

“Perth’s Fringe World, which opens on 15 January, attracted criticism and protests earlier this year over its longstanding sponsorship by fossil fuel giant Woodside. In a bid to head off disruption of next month’s event, the organisers – not-for-profit company Artrage – have included in the festival’s main contract the stipulation that ‘the presenter and the venue operator must use its best endeavours to not do any act or omit to do any act that would prejudice any of Fringe World’s sponsorship arrangements’. … [Performers] said the clause effectively amounted to a gag order, curtailing comment on anything from climate change to local politics.” – The Guardian

Source: The Guardian