Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Full Disclosure?

"The staging was amazing as usual, but I found the play itself a bit
fluffy and perhaps predictable."...

"The people who attended the play with my could see no reason, save
that Greenblatt is a member of the Harvard faculty, why the ART should have produced that play."

"It was the most contrived and artificial play I have seen in a long
time. The endless homages to Umbria, past and other things Italian were mind numbing."

These are all comments about the ART's new production of Cardenio. They are from audience members and they are posted, along with praise, on the ART's blog.

I remember attending a show once and the lobby had the usual reviews posted on a board. But this was different. The board was divided into three columns:

The Good
The Bad
The Ugly

The respective reviews were posted there for all to see. I am not sure if this was good, bad or ugly for the company members, (the ugly review was pretty ugly, but the bad were actually mixed,) but it was certainly a healthy dose of realism.

The blog at the American Repertory Theatre follows a model that many other companies adopt. Posts are usually done by artists directly involved in the show that is currently up. (New Rep follows this model.) This can result in some nice insights into the work of the artists. The Actors Shakespeare Project blog is usually written by permanent company members and talks specifically about the process of translating the play to the stage, including rehearsals, etc.

This model seems to be dependent on the blogging talents or motivation of the specific member of the specific show.

The Huntington Blog is a little different. Run by Todd Williams, the blog is always active with new posts, is not afraid to link to outside blogs, and occasionally Todd will get involved in other blog discussions. He posts video and great production photos. The Huntington blog keeps you up to date, in a dynamic way, about everything that is going on there. Having a consistent, permanent blogmaster can help this regard.

It will be interesting to see, as we proceed into the future, how theatre companies will continue to develop their web presence.

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