Friday, September 26, 2008

Suspending the Theatre Season

Yesterday, I updated my Facebook status with this possibly witty statement: "Martin is concerned about the economy, yet oddly NOT suspending his normal reviewing activities today."

Today, looking forward in a few hours to the 1st 2008 Presidential Debate (which I am staying home to watch, rather than reviewing a show as I normally would do on a Friday night), I ponder my glibness.

Shouldn't I suspend my reviewing activities? Shouldn't I spend the next five weeks doing whatever I possibly can to focus people on the most important election of modern times? Hit the road, as my colleague Anthony Nelson has done, to campaign for Obama? Organize parties or fundraisers? Use this blog to talk not about the New York theatre scene but instead about the pressing issues facing America?

On the other hand... the theatre remains vital and valuable, as much for helping us understand and weigh the serious issues we must grapple with this year as for providing a respite from them. So I am not going to suspend my reviewing. Not covering All My Sons and The Atheist and Aliens with Extraordinary Skills and the other stuff that's on my calendar would be very wrongheaded.

But I mean to engage the readers of this blog in a dialogue about the issues of this election in addition to talking about the theatre.

So here comes a serious invitation: Playwrights, directors, actors, designers, stage managers, theatre artists of every stripe: this blog is now officially at your disposal for a discussion of how the election of 2008 affects us in the NYC theatre community. What does the economic picture portend, in terms of your ability to get work up? What about the candidates' respective stances with regard to the War? To civil liberties? This stuff matters greatly, and what the brilliant people who make theatre think about this stuff matters greatly, too. So let's start talking.

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