Archive for November, 2008

Interview: Anne Galjour

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Anne GaljourNationally recognized playwright and actress Anne Galjour draws on her Cajun roots in her gripping one-woman plays. She creates vivid characters and bracing narratives in her solo performances, which include Hurricane and Alligator Tales. Her talents have been recognized with multiple awards, including the American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award, and the Will Glickman Playwriting Award.

In this podcast we talk with Anne about her most recent piece You can’t get there from Here, which deals with the still-taboo issue of class in America.

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Critical USA

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Photo by caniswolfie — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

In the week of one of the most significant turning point elections in the United States, what are American theatre critics talking about?

Are they analyzing the differences between McCain’s and Obama’s approaches and policies for governmental arts funding and support? Are they providing a critique of what the United States’ creative vision will be? Are they lobbying the next administration for a new approach to American culture? Or, are they whining about their jobs and their own lack of an audience?

You guessed right. You must know a theatre critic.

Writing in the New York Post, Michael Riedel covers cutbacks in two daily newspaper’s theatre critics in New Jersey (oh, yea of bridge and tunnel), and the implications for other Broadway mouths.

Riedel notes, “they’re newspaper drama critics, those once all-powerful arbiters who, with a vicious turn of phrase, could close a show, humiliate an actor, bankrupt an investor.”

Oh, wow. Has there ever been a better description of critics and their arrogance of self-importance? Isn’t that a perfect way to link Aristotle, Diderot, Lessing, Kierkegaard, Shaw and Esslin to today’s American low achievers?

How does one cutback-critic describe his predicament? “The diadem is certainly sitting uneasily on the heads of first-nighters.” Gee — they really know how articulate an issue and to communicate directly!

Another laments, “There’s no glamour anymore. During the stagehands strike, my editors had me standing on the sidewalk at 2 a.m. getting quotes.” OMG, he had to be a working journalist!

Of course, the blame for their lack of audience falls not with their own easily predictable take on a show, refusal to provide a historical context, or lack of enlightened perceptions. No, critics are blaming bloggers for fulfilling their roles with skill, determination, and imagination.

As in all turning points, maybe theatre critics are waking up to the fact that being oh, so clever (New York Times on Broadway?) is no longer as valuable as being informed, perceptive, and hard working (All that Chat?).

Maybe they will take a moment to marvel at their own lack of theatrical foundations and initiative in comparison to their audiences, and to the very artists they ostensibly help to make better works of art.

Maybe it is time for them to analyze the significance of their own election results.

- Bill Reichblum

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Interview: Amadeo Pasa (English Translation)

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Amadeo PasaArgentine musician Amadeo Pasa has been a pioneer in the organization of interdisciplinary cultural events. He defied 1990′s neoliberalism and “shopping mall” culture in Buenos Aires by organizing a festival of independent contemporary art and culture. Amadeo is the founder of Festival Buen Día, which has been taking place in the city of Buenos Aires since 1997, and integrates free concerts with books, clothes, design and food fairs, all of them gathered at open air spaces in the traditional neighborhood of Palermo.

In this interview he talks about the beginnings of the festival, the importance of fostering national independent culture, and allowing for the coexistence of both multinational companies and national independent producers.

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Interview: Amadeo Pasa (In Spanish)

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Amadeo PasaMüsico argentino, Amadeo Pasa ha sido pionero en la organización de eventos culturales interdisciplinarios. Desafió a la cultura “shopping” y neoliberal de la década de 1990 en Buenos Aires, organizando un festival de arte independiente contemporáneo. Amadeo es el fundador del Festival Buen Día, que se lleva a cabo en la ciudad de Buenos Aires desde 1997, e integra conciertos gratuitos con ferias de libros, indumentaria, diseño y comida en espacios al aire libre en el tradicional barrio de Palermo.

En esta entrevista Amadeo habla sobre los comienzos del festival, la importancia de fomentar la cultura nacional independiente, y permitir la convivencia de productores multinacionales y nacionales.

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