Wow, Thom Garvey brings up a good point about the Bill Marx interview with Ilana Browstein about the Breaking Ground festival at the Huntington.
Why doesn't the article mention that critics have been barred from attending?
I hadn't heard about this at all. Here is Thomas Garvey:
This raises a few intriguing issues. First, of course, the Huntington can refuse entry to Breaking Ground to anyone it wants - and it's clearly not interested in a critique of the festival or its development process. To my mind, said process is a valid topic of critical conversation, and the fact that I haven't seen clear improvement in the scripts that have gone through it is worth noting. No doubt to the Huntington, however, a review is simply publicity, and who needs negative publicity about their development process? I get that argument, of course.
But here's the rub. Even as the Huntington was telling me I couldn't go to Breaking Ground, I was being approached by one of their playwrights in the festival (no it doesn't matter who), asking me to see his/her work and give some feedback. But I had to tell the writer (after checking with the powers that be) that I wouldn't be allowed in.
An interesting problem, no? It's hard to fight the impression that my critiques of the scripts at the Huntington have impressed at least a few of the playwrights themselves. But oddly, in the interest of "protecting" them from the withering influence of critics, they're being prevented from getting the very feedback they seek. Of course the Huntington has the right to control its own publicity. But isn't there some way, in a "development" process, to include the kind of pushback that might actually help the plays develop?
It is strange the Bill Marx would not mention this, but, as Thomas said, it could be that maybe only he was disinvited.