There's a scene in Blade Runner where Harrison Ford uses a strange photo-enhacing device that looks suspiciously like an ATARI-2600 to search for clues in some photos left behind in an apartment by Leon, a semi-retarted murderous robot.
Oddly enough, this scene got me thinking about Terry's column (and Rob's response to it) today.
In order to get the information he needs, Ford eventually ends up having to have the machine zoom in on a mirror and use that mirror to recreate what was going on in a room not pictured and ends up getting a partial shot of a woman taking a shower that leads him to crack the case.
The question about what stat to use in figuring out how new plays are positioned vis-a-vis older ones is a real tricky one. And that's even leaving aside the question of how you define "new play" (a problem that Outrageous Fortune dwells on before throwing up its collective hands and saying fuck it and moving on because it's too hard). And the truth of the matter is, no one stat is going to do it. Most Produced Plays is part of the picture, but so is Most Produced Playwrights. And so would some measure of what plays get done in main stage vs. second stage spaces. And so would something that broke this analysis down regionally. And another that broke it down by LORT category.
Also, how do you break down the categories? And should there be more than two? More than New and Not-New play? Or Plays by Living Playwrights vs. Plays by Dead Playwrights?
Et cetera. I really really wish I was still temping so I would have a lot of free time to compile a lot of different tables so we could get as full a picture as possible. Anyone got some time on their hands? I know Art is already plowing through some of the data.
And it might be that as we get a fuller picture it will confirm what Terry's talking about. I'm totally open to that.