O’Neill Conference Looks Increasingly Female

At Connecticut’s O’Neill Playwrights Conference, women playwrights are taking an increasingly major role. “The League of American Theaters and Producers reports that the audience for Broadway shows in the 2001-02 season was 63 percent female — the same percentage of plays by women (63.6 percent) that get script-in-hand public performances at this year’s playwrights conference. But nationwide, according to American Theatre magazine, only 17 to 18 percent of plays produced in professional theaters in 2001-02 were written by women. In the same season, 16 percent of productions were directed by women.”

Why Over-Hype Shakespeare?

Why does TV always feel its got to sex up serious subjects in order to get attention. A new BBC show on Shakespeare tries to make the Bard’s life exciting. Gary Taylor begs to disagree with how this story line has been hyped. “There’s something obscene about using the political assassination of Christopher Marlowe, or the legal torture and public execution of martyrs like Edmund Campion, Edward Arden, and Robert Southwell, to spice up someone else’s dull biography. Shakespeare never sacrificed anything for anybody.”

Emin: Leave Me Alone If You Don’t Like It

Artist Tracey Emin is tired of critics slagging off on her. “If you don’t like me, leave me alone. I get completely slagged off by people whose mortgage I’m paying. They write 500 words about me, they pay their mortgage that week. Someone on The Independent called me a ‘retard’ which really wound me up. I responded. I’m not saying how, but I totally responded.”

View From The Top – America’s Most “Literate” Cities

“A survey of literacy in 64 cities confirmed what Seattle bookworms have long suspected. It named Seattle as one of the country’s two most-literate cities, edged out for No. 1 only by Minneapolis. Jack Miller, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater chancellor and education professor, used statistics in five categories and 13 different measures of literacy to provide a ‘literacy profile’ of all American cities with populations of 250,000 or more.”

Putting Frames Around The Provocative..

Chris Burden has spent a career pushing at the boundaries of art. “Throughout a 30-year career marked by international fame and notoriety, each new artwork he has made has provoked new and ever more challenging answers to this simple question. But his own response, like so much of what he does, is unexpected. ‘It’s about trying to frame something. And draw attention to it and say, ‘Here’s the beauty in this. I’m going to put a frame around it, and I think this is beautiful. That’s what artists do. It’s really a pointing activity’.”

Searching For The Meaning Of Art

Why do people seek out art? “We look at art in order to search for something — it gives us a particular place where we can search for something that we can’t see. There’s always something beyond the frame — not just what we see but what we don’t see — and it’s what we don’t see that we often desire. It’s quite mysterious. All art is a way of trapping something or freezing something about human desire.”

Is Latin America The Next Big Thing?

“The notion that Latin America will give birth to the next great wave of art and ideas isn’t exactly new. For several years the topic has been the source of lively discussions when arts folk gather. But how does an industry whose machinery is programmed to face New York and Paris turn to face Mexico City and Buenos Aires? Step by step … and step one just happened.”

In Praise Of Minnesota Theatre

“When the Post-Gazette crunched statistics for an Index of Theatrical Activity of the 15 midsize metropolitan areas tracked in the Benchmark Series in 1998, Minneapolis-St. Paul regularly vied with Seattle for the top spot. Of course, New York and Chicago are securely Nos. 1 and 2 in the national rankings, but the Twin Cities vie for third…”

When Popularity Makes You Unpopular

“Norah Jones has replaced Diana Krall as the artist jazz critics love to hate. But if that bothers Jones – who will give a sold-out concert Tuesday evening at the Fox Theatre – she can take comfort in the fact that being a jazz pariah is nothing new. Traditionally, critics and fans have turned their backs on artists who pull off the trick of clicking with the masses. Over the decades, the list of performers whose artistic credibility has been questioned because of their commercial success has included…”

Do Florida Politicians Dislike The Arts?

Florida legislators recently turned art-unfriendly. “Increasingly, this state’s leaders seem to regard arts and cultural endeavors as expensive luxuries, in cities, towns and schools alike. Even worse, they regard government funding for cultural programs with an air of disdain and suspicion. In the recent legislative session, legislators diverted most of the state’s cultural funding to cover gaping holes left in other parts of the budget…”