Saturday, May 01, 2010

BoHo Theatre Blog: May We Live In Interesting Times:

Last night, I saw a performance of Mike Daisey's provocatively titled one-man show How Theatre Failed America. If you've heard the hype, then believe it. Daisey weaves together rants and observations of the business of American theatre with thematically resonant personal stories from his own theatrical past. The man held the entire theatre enthralled for two full hours just by sitting behind a desk and speaking.

But this was merely the first act. I was fortunate enough to attend on one of the two nights which also featured a round-table discussion with members of the Chicago theatre community, including Roche Schulfer, executive director of the Goodman; Amy Morton from Steppenwolf; Michael Halberstam, artistic director of Writers’ Theater; and Ann Joseph, Artistic Director of Congo Square. This hour-long back-and-forth exchange between the panelists and eventually the audience became at times passionate and heated, but it was never dull. In all, the evening was an almost three-and-a-half hour celebration of and exchange of ideas about art. In short, it was what I'm looking for every time I go to the theatre.