Friday Phone Call # 27

Ilana Brownstein of the Playwrights' Commons Boston

Today I talk with Ilana Brownstein, known to #newplay followers as @bostonturgy. She's the founder of the Playwrights' Commons in Boston and we're going to be very involved with each other as we move forward in the transition to the Center for the Theater Commons in her city. We talk about her work with the Playwrights' Commons, in particular about her recent work analyzing the breakdown of the upcoming season as currently announced. It leads us to the murky waters of "representation" and "emerging artists" and "responsiveness versus responsibility" and what are we measuring when we measure things like this. We do go on, as you can imagine, once you get into this particular discussion it is hard to find an organic end to it. I hope you can make the time to listen in, and to jump off from the things we're groping for here to help move the conversation forward. Bright Spot Alert: we wind up singing the praises of Huntington Theatre here for its long and consistent commitment to writers and its hit production of Kirsten Greenidge's The Luck of the Irish.

Listen to weekly podcasts hosted by David Dower as he interviews theater artists from around the country to highlight #newplay bright spots. You can subscribe to the series via iTunes or this RSS Feed (for Android phones).

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Thoughts from the curator

Listen to weekly podcasts hosted by David Dower as he interviews theater artists from around the country to highlight #newplay bright spots. You can subscribe to the series via Apple iTunes or RSS Feed.

Friday Phone Call

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I found the conversation really good until you got to the issue of diversity. The problem with your conversation around solutions is that the person making the decision of who to produce or not produce NEVER TOOK INTO CONSIDERATION THEATERS OF COLOR!!!! The universe of which you talked about was the white-run theaters, regardless of size. Your numbers might change somewhat if you included those theaters. Also, with people of color in the decision-making position at a theater you might find a great deal more diversity, both on gender and sexual orientation. I think we need to broaden our concepts of who is counted and who isn't.

Gary Anderson - Plowshares Theatre Co., Detroit