What We’re Reading

Welcome to What We’re Reading, in which we’ll share with you some of our favorite articles about theater and performance from all around the internet this week.

First up, I recommend two articles about Ferguson that I think are interesting in tandem with each other. First, a short piece from St. Louis Public Radio, entitled “Artists Discuss Actions After Week of Protests in Ferguson” by Willis Ryder Arnold. The second is an article in The New York Times by Ben Sisario entitled “A Song Born When Pain Is Still Fresh,” which is about non-theater music but I thought I’d include it anyway. When combined, the articles raise interesting questions about art, violence, and protest. What is the role of artists in a crisis? Is it irresponsible for us to be even talking about art when such horrific and racist violence is still happening? Or is it artists’ responsibility to get involved? If you’re interested in those questions, you should look into The Ferguson Moment, which intends “to spark and organize a national artistic response to the oppression, violence, and resistance happening in Ferguson, MO and its relationship to all of our communities and American history” (via TCG).

Next, and on a very different note: Michael Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center, wrote a piece called “Moving Side Show to Broadway” for the Huffington Post. Kaiser uses the upcoming Broadway transfer of the Kennedy Center’s Side Show revival to explore the theatrical economy of nonprofit-to-commercial transfers. I loved thinking about the symbiosis of these two different branches of the theater industry. It’s very informative and I recommend it to all producers (and everyone in general).

Finally, I really enjoyed Ken Davenport’s recent piece “You’re a Writer, Whether You Know It Or Not.” In part, it reminded me of Danielle Feder’s recent post, “Own What You Do, Even Before You’re Doing It.” It also validates every English major’s first line of defense when people ask us what we’re really going to do with that degree. Writing is important, whether you write musicals or blog posts or emails or social media posts* or anything else!

*Shoutout to Dontae (from ABC’s Whodunnit?), an insurance investigator who strategically introduced himself to his fellow contestants as a writer. When interviewed, he explained: “Literally, I am a writer. I write reports. I write Facebook posts. I write twitter posts. So it’s not really a lie.” Dontae, I like your style.

Have an article you think we should check out? Leave it in the comments below!

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