Well, that’s it. I am done writing theatrical criticism for Nola Defender. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that includes some of the stinkers.
When beginning the adventure of Facing the Stage, I promised myself that I would give it a year and then reevaluate from that point.
I did, and I decided that I was ready to move on with my life and work. Over the last few months, I have found myself resistant to reviewing a great deal of the theatre that I saw, because so many of those reviews would have been in line with my harshly negative take on Women Who Kill (i.e. shows that were simply not prepared). There is good work in town, just not enough to sustain a critic’s appetite. I could’ve expanded my palette to the greater fare of cultural performance with Mardi Gras, street culture, and burlesque/drag, but that would’ve required a time commitment that my job at Nelson Middle School simply did not allow me. In short, I might still be at this if there was an available full-time job for a cultural critic in The City of New Orleans.
However, there is not one.
I am not sick of writing about theatre. Far from it. I will continue to be a champion of new work in this blog and in print. How new work is constructed is of particular interest to me, so entries like Glorious Shipwrecks: Keynesian Romantic Playwriting will arrive on a regular basis in this forum. I have the honor of giving the opening paper in Oxfordshire, England at a Global Conference on Fear, Horror and Terror in September. And, of course, I will continue to work at Nola Defender acting as an editor where I am planning something more political in nature.
Finally, on July 20th, with the help of a brass band, I will present my one man show Urban Education Smackdown at The Shadowbox Theatre. I am infuriated at The Jindal administration’s calling a dismantling plunder raid of the public school system a “reform program”. I am even more distressed at what this has done to the physical and emotional health of the teachers in this state. It seems the solution for what ails our schools is to take the people who sacrifice the most and kick them in the crotch.
And in the fall, I will know what means to miss New Orleans.
As you can see, I am a little busy.
So, thank you, for sharing your theatrical dreams with me. It is about time I started living some of my own.
I suppose I should say more. More about how The National World War II Museum, The Audubon Institute, and all those Hollywood swells should promote and produce local theatre. More about how theatre companies should focus on cultivating relationships with actual donors and building season ticket subscriptions. More about how seasons should be planned in accordance with the rhythms of the city. And more about how the work should, and can, be locally grounded without losing its entertainment value or being simply navel gazing.
I suppose I should say all of that.
But I think I’ve said it enough.