Sunday, July 31, 2011

Powerhouse Theatre, redux

In my recent post not quite reviewing four presentations I had seen at Vassar/New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre over the past few years, I lightly mentioned that before several of them we were asked (admonished, really) not to leak information about the shows on the Internet. In the interest of brevity, and perhaps to avoid feeling like a brat, I understated my feelings about that request while also refusing to completely comply with them.

I do support the idea of creating safe spaces for developing works, so while I found the announcements to be rude and ill-advised, I kept my tongue more than I normally would. So I was quite happy--and felt a bit vindicated in my feelings--to see that the New York Times featured a comment from another avid theater-goer on such preshow announcements. It mentions Powerhouse in particular, and I agree with much of what is said there. The discussion in the readers' comments has been quite lively.

Since then, I have taken another visit to Vassar and seen two more shows, one staged play and one play reading. The first had no preshow announcement and the second talked about how pleased they were to present the author's work and then made a sort of throwaway remark about not giving any other comments. Perhaps I'm projecting, but I assumed that was a backhanded response to the NYT discussion.

Now, in the marked absence of such a prohibition, I feel almost obligated to review the two works I saw. So those posts may be forthcoming shortly. In the meantime, I recommend jumping into the conversation at the Times. Industry folks are reading, and audiences should take every opportunity to give them feedback.

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