Monday, April 23, 2007

Playing on the Edge

posted by brad at 9:23 AM

Doug Newell and Eric Pargac in An Impending Rupture of the Belly - Photo by Anthony Masters.

A great article in yesterday's LA Times from the new voice of Los Angeles theatre - Charles McNulty. Read it here. The article sheds some light on this year's Pulitzer process and how the winner, Rabbit Hole (which wasn't nominated by the nominating committee) made it's way to the top.

The article also serves as a sort of call to arms for the up and coming American playwrights who tend to be "pushing the boundaries" and "taking us to the edge" to continue doing so, and risk the temptation to jump ship into the higher paying world of television. But, more importantly, it serves as a call to arms for audiences to go see these up and comers' work and embrace the idea of participating in the next iteration of American Drama - even if the plays don't "please" you 100% of the time. McNulty calls out memorable experiences from his past that were not necessarily the best playwrights of their time, or the most validated and high profile artists... but who still managed to leave a lasting impression on him from his days of yore in NYC.

We get a nice mention as one of a few smaller companies here in LA that McNulty has witnessed to seemingly be successful at bringing in adventurous audiences and delivering memborable experiences. It was great for our company (and Board) to see this kind of acknowledgement. While you're responsible for your own work, fate, etc... it is always nice to have validation from the outside. It is also a great sign of what having a lead critic taking root in this city can do for the scene - serve as a valued guide and translator for audiences by communicating and providing insightful commentary on what he's seeing and experiencing all around town and WHY that is important for theatre audiences to know.

We're going to continue to focus on the kind of work we believe we're meant to produce - new plays that push the boundaries, take you to the edge (or maybe even over it sometimes) and give the audience (ok, sometimes provoke, in a healthy way) an opportunity to "feel" something during their theatre experience. Will a Furious playwright ever win the Pulitzer? We'll have to wait and see. Part of that responsibility lies with future audiences. Either way, we hope the current audience maintains their spirit of adventure and keeps coming for the Furious experience - and hopefully we'll continue to see new audiences get in line for a ticket to take the ride as well.

Be Furious.


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