Friday Phone Call # 7

Moisés Kaufman of Tectonic Theater Project

 

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Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project are crossing all sorts of borders in their work. They challenge many different assumptions about how the American theater works and how artists make themselves at home in it. We talk too long again, of course, but he’s got so much accumulated knowledge for people straining against the templates of the new play world that it’s worth hanging on for the whole ride, I think.

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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Great conversation. Puzzling, provocative point about ensemble work being perceived as somehow "un-American". It gets at the whole tug-of-war at play today in our nation about what it is to be American. Are we rugged individualists? Or are we a collective, a democracy, a "people"? The answer probably is that we're both. We've had to struggle with this in our own ensemble (Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble). We have never, in our almost 35 years, had a single artistic director. Leadership is shared. This is hard. How do individual voices make themselves heard? How do we make sure that the stronger (louder? older?) voices don't drown out the others? I do believe that one of the reasons that we've lasted this long is that each individual in the ensemble has felt that he/she can determine his/her own artistic destiny. Within the collective. "Ensemble" is often confounding to the other parts of our organization, though! We've had to create a rotating elected position to serve as liaison with staff and board, who sometimes refer to us artists as the "8-headed beast"!

Amazing! Moises really hits it on the head! Funding for new work is metered by the "three 'S's"-subscription, season, and space. The three things that theatre laboratories don't have."