Best of This Week's Theatre Blogs - 9 Oct 2009Date: 8 October 2009
Should playwrights be trained? Whilst postgraduate training in the UK might still be fairly low key the debate on MFAs in Playwriting was a recurring topic on American theatre blogs this week.
Joshua Conkel started the debate by admitting that whilst he doesn't have a postgraduate qualification he is considering adding one to his CV - in a bid to get past the perceived prejudice of theatres in America. What ensued was a debate not so much on the adding of fictitious qualifications to a CV but on prejudices (of both theatres and playwrights), representation and what exactly a postgraduate piece of paper might mean.
This side of the Atlantic it was technology which was preoccupying bloggers. After the National Theatre's screening of All's Well That End Well at cinemas throughout the UK bloggers tackled the issues of watching theatre on the big screen. For View From The Stalls technical problems highlighted the challenges of the project whilst for Miching Malicho there was the rather important question of theatre versus cinema etiquette.
Finally, Carrie Dunn took musical theatre's most annoying characters to task, providing a list of those fictional men and women who make you want to throw something at the stage...
Tarhearted - I'm a Dandy
"I'm okay with fancy pants Ivy Leaguers doing well too, but it would be nice if those Lit Managers and Artistic Directors were also going to see Off Off shows and researching scripts from out of town as well, wouldn't it? That way, some of us lower class writers would have a shot. At least then we'd have some different voices".
"Yes, mainly upper-middle class people go, but a lot of lower-middle class people go, too. Why don't we just focus on producing the best plays, no matter where they come from? If a million instant MFAs will produce that, I'm all for it".
"It became clear at the start of the introduction with NT Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner that the sound was significantly out of synch with the video. During the fifteen minutes of behind the scenes chat, attempts were clearly being made to solve the issue and by the time the play commenced the delay between video and sound had improved - but it was still sufficiently noticeable to be an irritation".
"It is a strange experience watching theatre in a cinema. It's not always clear if laughter is from the audience at the theatre or in the cinema for example. I'm still not sure if I should applaud or not".
"A friend of mine maintains that Fantine is more annoying than Cosette obviously the annoyingness is genetic. However, I maintain that at least Fantine has the excuse of having syphilis, making her increasingly incoherent".