Monday, January 23, 2012

Theatre Notes Blog Watch for the week of Jan. 16, 2012

There was a lot of good content from the Blogosphere this past week.  Combine that with a busy schedule and it has taken longer than usual to bring it all too you. But, with problems we get creative. This is the second of two Blog Watch posts for the past week. In this post we have some stuff for the business and design side of theatre as well as the development of women playwrights over the past 10 years.

The Theatre Blog over at The Guardian/UK talks about should theatre leave more to the imagination and not use video project as the sole means of creating a setting for a stage production.

It's not hard to see the appeal. Video projection is cheaper and more manageable than old-fashioned physical sets and, in theory at least, makes possible all manner of effects and impossible landscapes. But the end result just looked like three people over-acting in front of an oversized screensaver.
There is certainly a place for video projection in theatre and it has expanded theatre's vocabulary in all sorts of ways. One thing it can't do, however, is create credible settings for onstage action.

The arts managment blog Butts In The Seats shares a unique idea about placebo pricing?
So say you have a steak roughly of the same quality as the $13 steaks at the Outback Steakhouse. The menu says $26, your bill when it arrives has a 50% discount. But everything you order feels expensive.
The big question is, do you take advantage of customer psychology to provide audiences with a satisfying experience?  Actually, you already do in a thousand different ways with your marketing, pricing and other practices. Question is, do you do something so blatant?

Laura Axelrod at 2AMtheatre asks the question "Can Women Write Good Plays?" Or more importantly, why it seems their plays are irrelevant or uncomfortable.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop, surrounded by friends. The topic of conversation is how a teacher admitted that he couldn’t name a female playwright he liked. Then, the conversation turns toward whether anyone in the group can name good female playwrights. They can’t, which is strange. Because no one can name a good female playwright, the question is inevitably asked: Can women write good plays?

And lastly, Trisha Mead also posting on 2AMtheatre talks about how theatres have over come the "Never heard of it" barrier when trying to put on new works.
How do I overcome the “Never heard of it” barrier? Audiences want to get a sense of what the experience will be like before they take a risk on a new work. The challenge is that it is nearly impossible to have real performance footage of a new work before it premieres. Here are five incredibly different, very intriguing ways this year’s Fertile Ground Festival participants are using video to address that challenge.


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