Friday, February 02, 2007

Bill Marx is Back?

At least tentatively. You can see his initial impressions of the Woodruff replacement at this link.

The artist is the scapegoat in the end, and that is troubling. The truth is that creative genius is not often married to salesmanship. Most of the greatest stage directors of the past, try as they might, couldn’t pry open the wallets of the upper crust with a crowbar. But fundraising ability — rather than artistry — is beginning to overshadow all other skills when it comes to choosing an artistic director. Oskar Eustis wasn’t hired to head the Public Theatre in New York because he was a superb director. He is wondrously adept at charming money out of rich donors. Chances are that whoever replaces Woodruff at the ART (Lester is temporarily assuming the role) will be less of a risk-taker and more of a bean counter.

2 comments:

Thomas Garvey said...

You know, I've been meaning to write about a strange contradiction in Edgers's report which I feel undermines Marx's argument. According to Edgers, Woodruff thought he was sitting pretty as late as last fall. Then suddenly, in January, he was out. What happened in the intervening three months? Well, "Wings of Desire" and "Onion Cellar" did, obviously - were they central to Woodruff's ouster? If so, however, the decision can't have been over financial issues, as Edgers also reports - or at least claims - that the box office for "Cellar" was huge (not too surprising, given the fan base of the Dresden Dolls).

And at any rate, the money issues at the ART were weakening, but weren't THAT bad. In all, I tend to think unhappiness with the theatre's artistic direction was central to the decision. The old art vs. commerce trope is simply Marx's usual stock-in-trade (note his praise for "Olly's Prison," a ditzy leftist whine if ever there was one).

Thomas Garvey said...

Although just btw - where IS his blog, this "High Marx" that link references? I can't find it - although oddly, on that link I DO find one of my own pieces, lifted from theatermirror, verbatim, without credit. Really, I find myself being plagiarized right and left these days . . .