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I wish I could comment on this more, but time constraints limit me to basically just linking to 99Seats' evaluation of MTC as a "racist institution". Which you can read about here.
UPDATE: And here's an important follow-up post.
Posted by Parabasis on May 13, 2009 at 03:25 PM in Theater | Permalink
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I really don't buy 99s argument AT ALL.
It's based mostly on what 99 doesn't know and freely admits to not knowing.
Into this vacuum 99 pours assumption and vitriol and not much logic.
I understand 99 loved the show and wants to see it in a Broadway House but that DOES NOT make MTC "blatantly racist."
Whatever one thinks of MTC, the organization doesn't deserve this slanderous take on its show.
malachy walsh |
May 13, 2009 at 05:43 PM
I too am short on time, so I will limit my response to the following.
Moxie the Maven |
May 13, 2009 at 06:07 PM
Gosh, Moxie, just the kind of intelligent discourse the blogsphere is known for!
malachy walsh |
May 13, 2009 at 06:30 PM
It's not a take on the show, but on the treatment of the show. And, yes, there are some factors I don't know. I would love to hear some answers about it.
I'm not sure what MTC does or doesn't "deserve," but judging an organization on its actions is all we can do. If you want to deal with my argument on the merits, that's fine. Though, personally, right now, I'm more in line with Moxie on this point.
May 13, 2009 at 09:37 PM
If MTC were a consciously racist institution, wouldn't they have refused to mount the play in the first place? The fact that they didn't try to make more out of it, and bring a broader audience to it, reveals managerial stupidity more than racism.
May 14, 2009 at 09:51 AM
I prefer to preface my contributions to intelligent discourse with unfiltered bile, Malachy :)
I think a lot of the programming at MTC, particularly their broadway house, is fear-based. "Drowning Crow was a disaster, we can't risk that again, yikes!" So Ruined goes to City Center. I'm totally oversimplifying the vast groupthink clusterfuck that is at work there, obviously. But it's all about living in fear of subscribers, and having no understanding of what single ticket buyers are interested in. Not to mention the fear of Lynne Meadow that the entire staff lives in. I think we all know what that kind of terror does to creativity. Whenever they do end up with work that's really really great, the feeling inside the production is often that the success is in spite of MTC. That's not to say that they don't have some good people on staff, but to be perfectly plain, Lynne really just needs to retire if the organization is to have a future.
Moxie the Maven |
May 14, 2009 at 10:45 AM
Keep speaking truth to power, Moxie. I'm right there with ya. And, to Ken's point, that's exactly why I followed up on the post. I think that Ruined is a victim of institutional racism, and not necessarily a racist institution per se. That doesn't change any managerial stupidity, but there's a point when the management is only a certain kind of stupid. I'm trying to think of another, similar show, by a white author, featuring a mainly white cast, that got the same kind of reviews and acclaim and didn't move to another theatre for a commercial run. That, I think, is the key.
And I even disagree with Moxie on this point; I don't think Ruined could have extended as often without the support of the subscribers. I think the folks at MTC aren't paying very good attention to what the subscribers think.
May 14, 2009 at 11:10 AM
Umm, Ken, there is a difference between "institutional racism" and "conscious racism." Institutional racism has to do with the pre-existing division of resources, social connections, and terms of artistic value. These can operate to the detriment of supposedly "minority" persons without the exercise of racial hostility. In other words, it's not about "feelings" but about resources.
May 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM
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