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Thursday, May 20, 2010

More post-Obie Awards

Michael Feingold, who heads up the Obie committee as chief drama critic for the Village voice,has a column today that examines the notion of "Golden Ages" in theater. The second half of the column starts with an appreciation of Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation, one of the 2 plays she had on the boards this season which led to her winning the Obie for Playwright.

Then Feingold posits the idea that we are currently living in a Golden Age of Acting, and no one is paying attention. This paragraph struck me as particularly worthy of quoting, especially in light of all the recent blogging about who is making a living and who is not.

"Will anybody notice, apart from the few, like me, whose duty it is to do so? I don't know. I wish I could see New York learning to value and cherish its own. The era of mega-profits, now apparently over, and of digitized communication, now degenerating into Tweeted triviality, have given us bad cultural habits. We've grown used to mistaking monetary success for value and logo recognition for meaning. Unlike England, which cherishes its artistic tradition, we've always tended to toss aside a previous generation's favorites in pursuit of the next big thing. This carelessness with our own goods creates an aesthetic vacuum, which Art, like Nature, abhors. London and Hollywood only step in to fill the gap our inattentiveness has left."

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.


More appreciation for our actors, and for our playwrights, is in order. We all work, as one Obie recipient put it Monday night, for the promise of becoming a "dozenaire". With all the endless prattle about arts education, the over-funded studies that prove what we all know (artists aren't getting rich making original theater in NYC) and silly surveys of salaries based on who knows what, the basics -- good acting and good writing -- often get overlooked.

There's also a slide show of more Obies photos, in case you haven't had enough yet. Click here to see it.

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