Go Deeper

Best Of 2009-2010, Temple Rep Arrives, Lucinda Childs at Spoleto, And We Are The Very Best

Posted July 7th, 2010

In this episode of our occasional media digest of things you probably care about:

>>>Philadelphia Weekly‘s J. Cooper Robb picks the best of the best of theater for this past season. The top 10 productions include EgoPo‘s Company which ran during Philly Fringe last year, and Pig Iron‘s Welcome to Yuba City, which premiered at the Live Arts Festival and was also Robb’s selection for best new play, best ensemble, best choreography, and best scenic design (by Mimi Lien). Congrats to everybody, for, as Robb writes, ” For the past two decades, the theater community has grown in both quantity and quality; now, previously young companies are now artistically established, and over the years have been cultivating a stable of talented local designers, directors and actors.” Damn straight.

>>>In Sunday’s Inquirer, which I had missed while I was fleeing the black bears of Canada, Howard Shapiro writes up the rise of Temple Repertory Theater, the new professional-level theater affiliated with Temple University’s MFA theater program. Quoth Shapiro: “These new troupes are the salvation of American repertory theaters, which offer actors steady gigs and artistic attachments, and which were becoming rarer by the decade.”

>>>Lucinda Childs’s Dance was up at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. last month. In The Post and Courier, reviewer Eliza Ingle raves:
“As the dance unfolds trancelike, the dancers turn on their axes like spinning planets, at other times they could be cellular activity under a microscope. Most powerful is the second section where the image of Lucinda Childs stands larger-than-life with the look of an artist who is confident her work will not disappear. Dancer Caitlin Scranton mirrors the choreographer, weaving in and out of the footage in a brilliant light design by Beverly Emmons.”

>>>Hey, they’ve got a lovely interview with Lucinda Childs up as well!

>>>Remember Justin Aaron Poole, and his obits for Everyman? He’s an academic too, and in a recent issue of Theatre Journal he offers some thoughts on last year’s Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe. Subscription (or access to an academic library) required, but here’s a taste:
“Following the argument that the Fringe showcases mythic, David and Goliath-type stories linked to the Philadelphian psyche, the enthusiasm for ideas, coupled with the lack of established training that characterized some (though not all) Fringe shows, seems fitting. Perhaps a Fringe artist’s lack of experience is not call for alarm, but rather for celebration. In the contemporary American theatre, where many venues are becoming detached from the communities they serve, is it not cause to celebrate when an event such as the Philly Fringe can so unabashedly support the free expression of locals who, although they may not have much experience, have identified something that they wish to say or a segment of society that they believe needs to be provoked?”

We think so. Thanks!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photos courtesy Pig Iron and Cross Cultural Theatre Initiative