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Brian Eugenio Herrera's #TheatreClique Newsletter for August 15, 2021.
WELCOME to the #TheatreClique Round Up — my (mostly) weekly newsletter dedicated to clicking on some of the most interesting, intriguing & noteworthy writing about drama, theatre & performance (at least, so says me)…
This Week's #TheatreClique-ing:
For this week’s opener, I lift this video of Nancy Griffith (1953-2021) performing “Love at the Five and Dime.” Griffith’s songs had a way of sneaking into your heart/head and traveling alongside you for a while, as this one did for me. (Her patter-intro to this particular song also gifted me a phrase I use at least once every few weeks, typically when confronting my delight in “unnecessary plastic objects.”) But Griffith’s voice has long been one of the handful to both anchor and lift my heart, and news of her passing this week caught me a bit short. (f*ck cancer.) Blessings, dear Nancy…
And here is some what’s been clicking since my last newsletter…
playwright/director/supernova Rhianna Yazzie remembers the life and legacy of William Yellowrobe Jr (1960-2021) in AmericanTheatre • SFChronicle’s Lily Janiak and Morayo Ogunbayo go in deep to parse the hidden costs of buying tickets — transaction fees, refund policies, time-to-purchase — for live performances post-pandemic • NYTimes’s Laura Collins-Hughes details how the dynamic Provincetown performance scene has proceeded with care after an midsummer Delta-variant scare • People Magazine reports on actor/singer Laura Osnes being fired from a scheduled concert for violating the venue’s vaccine protocols • Playbill reports that the Telsey Office has partnered with the Miranda Family Foundation to launch a fellowship "providing a two-year, salaried position a BIPOC artist interested in building a career in the casting industry” • TheHollywoodReporter talks to the cast of the new film CODA about how the film marks a watershed moment in Deaf representation on screen • TheAdvocate features “Notions of Care” an upcoming solo show by photographer Robert Andy Coombs documenting “his experiences at the intersection of sexuality and disability” • this week, PBS’s Great Performances begins airing Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age documentary which was completed by friends and colleagues of director Rick McKay, who died in 2018 • Craig Boyd of Cultural Attaché talks to producers Jamie deRoy and Jane Klain about how they shepherded McKay’s film to completion • and KinoLorber offers a free five-day window to watch the other Broadway documentary released this week, On Broadway…
...and — lest I forget — this week in Fornésiana: brings confirmation that “A Tribute Show to Maria Irene Fornes” — “a celebration of this matriarch of Latinx playwriting” staged by Latinx Womxn — will be offering performances in NYC at the end of August; tickets are available here.
On This TheatreCliquer's Dance Card:
Wherein I shamelessly promote my own upcoming public events.
Together Apart: 10 Mini-Musicals about One Life Changing Year — streams on demand only through 8/20 • “written, composed, produced, directed and performed by Brown University alumni from different eras - who reconnected virtually during the pandemic and decided to create something together” • FREE - donations benefit the Actors Fund
Voices from Behind Academentia's Paywall:
If you are not academically-affiliated, or if your institution does not subscribe to these journals, shake the social media trees to see if some academic somewhere might hook you up with a pdf or two. Or check with your friendly neighborhood librarian to see if they can help. But download the pdf directly if you can. Because ACADEMIC CLICKS COUNT too!
This week saw the arrival of the hotly anticipated #PerformativeX special issue of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, edited by Michelle Liu Carriger. The issue gathers a noteworthy array of the most compelling emerging voices in Theatre and Performance Studies offering their thoughts on “performative’s newly prominent role in hashtags and colloquial discussion” to mean theatrical in contemporary discourse. As Carriger’s introduction reminds us, “for the performance and dramatic theory community, inculcated with Austinian and Butlerian notions of ‘performativity’ and the ‘performative’ utterance (or action) that actually accomplishes something, the social media performative’s negative valence of ‘merely for show’ or empty narcissism still delivers a shock.” Each of the dozen or so contributions to this issue takes a different tack on this terminological conundrum, and each is worth your perusal (and I did take particular delight in the fact that Patrick McElvey’s archly incisive rumination cited this tweet of mine) but I do keep returning to the collection’s lead essay “Infelicities” by theatre scholar/practitioner Aaron C. Thomas. Thomas has long been one of the most stalwart, sardonic and exacting observers of how TaPS scholars deploy “the performative” and his fascinating (and expert) excavation of the unruly, unkempt genealogy of “the performative” — as both critical keyword and term of intellectual art — allows us to anchor current certitudes over the word’s meaning in the often surprising complexities of the past. So, the next time you get snagged in a “but is it performative” snarl, just return to this essay. Seriously. Just listen to Aaron C. Thomas.
Profe Herrera’s Semi-Scholastic Bookmobile is OPEN…
Wherein I release books from my bookshelf to yours…. a little free virtual bookmobile if you will. You pick a title from a list of mostly new and mostly notable books; fill out a simple form; I send your chosen book to you via USPS for you to keep. That’s it. (Your contribution to shipping & handling costs will be welcomed but not expected.)
Just click on the banner above for all the details…
DEFINITION CHECK: what’s a scholastic book fair? what’s a bookmobile? (For more context/information about the project, click on the graphic above to be routed to the bookmobile-page when it goes live…)
Until next time, dear #TheatreClique, please share this newsletter with those friends, colleagues and students who might appreciate the opportunity to encounter the many voices gathered in each week’s edition. Errors and oversights published in the newsletter will be corrected in the archival versions. And, in the meantime, keep clicking those links — good writing needs good readers and our theatre clicks count!