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On June 29, the Broadway League announced that it will hire an outside company to survey diversity in all aspects of the industry, the latest in a multifaceted and ongoing response by the theater industry to the calls for BIPOC allyship, sparked by the May 25 murder of George Floyd.
In recent months, as coronavirus closures and quarantine measures began to hint at more than a few empty rows on the calendar, performers and venues rallied around the internet, not just as a crescent means of distribution, but as a new stage for which unique performances are uniquely conceived.
New Yorks theater scene is not an ecosystem short on gay plays. However when it comes to showcasing all the colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow, these plays predominantly come in one shade: white and gay. To fill in the gaps and build bridges to underrepresented communities, Adam Odsess-Rubin founded the National Queer Theater.
In mid-May, I began a correspondence with American theater icon, Anne Bogart, director, writer, educator, and founder of SITI Company whose decades-long career has influenced generations of theater practitioners. Anne was my mentor in graduate school, and while her counsel often replays in my head, I hadn't regularly kept in touch with her. Annes ideas about theater and process are both drawn from life, and offer philosophical frameworks for approaching life. Her teachings on the interplay between leading and following, stuckness and unstuckness, and control and surrender can as much be applied to directing and performing theater as they can to any challenging situation one might encounter.