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Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

You're a nice guy, Julian.

However, the reviewer and I still disagree on whether the chrononauts controlled the behavior of the three women or the three women, through their respective desires, controlled the the actions of the chrononauts.

I wonder if Bryon Woods opinion of those extras would have been different of the women had arrived at the island on a stylized steamship?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 08/06/2014 at 11:24 AM

Re: “What does a state poet laureate do—and why does it matter?

Joseph Bathanti sent the following clarification regarding the founding of the Veterans Writing Collective:

"I cannot at all take credit for founding the Veterans Writing Collective in Fayetteville. I was merely at the initial meeting, with a number of key players, in Fayetteville at Methodist University. Out of that meeting, the Collective was later formed and all the credit goes to poet and Professor Robin Greene, Paul Stroebel and a number of other hard-working folks at Methodist and in Fayetteville who have brilliantly sustained and nurtured it."

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Vitiello on 08/06/2014 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks for restoring my faith in mankind. How refreshing to read a passionate discussion where respect is shown throughout.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Julian Chachula Jr. on 08/02/2014 at 10:40 PM

Re: “The Lion in Winter at Theatre in the Park

Characters with weaknesses are frequent in theater; they fund most if not all of the great dramas, and it takes strong actors to believably perform them.

Weak performances, on the other hand, are more frequent in regional theater than most of us would like. Though he ignores it, I suspect that shlomo is already well aware of this distinction.

And to answer his question, not only it is entirely fair to demand that all actors on stage be believable, that is actually the minimum acceptable standard for a show produced by one of the region's older and more accomplished companies, for paying audiences.

Should Theatre in the Park's artistic director believe differently, he is welcome to state that view for himself, publicly and on the record.

Playtime is over, shlomo. Ultimately, it's the director's responsibility to make sure that an entire cast is meeting the minimum artistic standards -- and not just the top two-thirds. When that doesn't occur, a mixed but basically favorable review like this one is actually the smallest of consequences.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Byron Woods on 08/01/2014 at 10:45 AM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Mr. Brown should be advised that I have actually seen -- and signed -- my full share of production contracts in my earlier experiences as a director -- well before I researched and wrote a recent cover story about copyright and the theater for INDY Week.

Still, he needn't take my word on copyright and script changes. In the interest of general education, here's a link to an article on the issue from the American Association of Community Theatre. Licensing do's and don'ts from major publishing houses are helpfully included at the bottom of the piece. http://www.aact.org/resources/Script_Chang…

> Nothing the chrononauts did suggested to me....
> [The women's] experiences were a result of free choices they each made,
> not imposed upon them by some outside agency (other than the playwright himself).

Sorry, this is simply incorrect. The women were guided on stage by the chrononauts in the very first moments of the play. They moved the women into place with eyes closed, posed them just so, and then "activated" them by placing jewelry about the heads or throats of two and an arm band on the third. The chrononauts clearly controlled them at first, and repeatedly controlled the "worlds" they encountered thereafter: flipping switches, and turning knobs and cranks prominently placed on the wall of the set. No one besides the chrononauts worked these controls.

It's possible that Mr. Brown somehow missed every example of this manipulation throughout the show. If so, he should be advised that the facts are against him.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Byron Woods on 07/31/2014 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Of course. We have no issue with sarcasm.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Howe, INDY arts & culture editor on 07/31/2014 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Brian, I'll take joint responsibility with my dumb-ass phone for mistakenly believing one of my posts had disappeared. While I'm at it, I'll give 100% of the blame to my phone for omitting "not" between "it's" and "missing" in my third post.

FWIW, my biting sarcasm, as demonstrated in my first post, has met the ad hominem threshold for other message board moderators I have encountered.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 07/31/2014 at 1:30 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

First, I doubt you have seen the contract signed by the producer of this play. I know I haven't. Therefore, I'm not going to debate whether the producers had the "right" to do what they did or not.

Second, your interpretation of the effect of chrononauts on the "women's agency" in particular and the play in total could not be more different from mine if we had gotten together and plotted to take points of view that were completely at odds. For me, the chrononauts provided a means of providing background as the play moved itself from one scene to another and a means of providing "a less than high-tech simulation of the terrains they [the women] discover" as well as other staging. Nothing the chrononauts did suggested to me that the the women were "pawns" or "lab rats." Their experiences were a result of free choices they each made, not imposed upon them by some outside agency (other than the playwright himself).

Also, a quick google search leading to commentaries on other productions made it clear to me that it is not uncommon for tasks handled here by the chrononauts to be done in other ways that are not in the script. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the script so I will not try to provide specific examples. (OK, I'll debate the producers' rights a little bit.)

Another more open way of looking at things might have allowed you to better enjoy this production.

Disclosure: I (like Julie Ritterskamp) am a friend of the director and I am an acquaintance of others associated with the production. But, I am also an independent thinker. My opinions about this production of On The Verge are driven by what I saw last Saturday night, not who was involved in delivering it.

Semi-sorry about the sarcasm/irony of my first post mostly because it detracts from my effort to now make serious points about my differences of opinion with the reviewer.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bill Brown on 07/31/2014 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Mr. Brown, I didn't remove any comments from this review. If one of yours is missing, I'm not sure why that is. You are welcome to repost it. We don't censor opinions, we only remove off-topic comments or ad hominem attacks.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Howe, INDY arts & culture editor on 07/31/2014 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Unfortunately, on at least one level it doesn't matter if the chononauts, those characters this production chose to add to Eric Overmeyer's script, were clever, humorous or cute as a button.

When theater groups buy the performance rights for plays in the U.S., the contracts they sign bind them to perform the script as written. They cannot legally add or delete material or otherwise alter the play without permission. Licensing houses can and do close productions down when companies make unauthorized changes. Theater artists unaware—or unconcerned—with this fact are actually putting themselves and those they work with at significant risk.

Mr. Overmyer's script is clear. The three women aren't on some holodeck. And in particular, they _aren't_ being manipulated by paramilitary figures invisible to them, who have the power to turn them off and on.

That's not a small change. It effectively removes the women's agency, transforming intrepid explorers into pawns who are being manipulated in this show's opening moments by characters Overmyer never wrote.

In that moment, they're no longer sojourners actually exploring terra incognita. They're more like lab rats instead, being sent through a maze controlled by others. Why? The reasons are never clear -- and were possibly never thought through all the way, since this change seems to be discarded by the end.

Ms. Ritterskamp's willingness to sacrifice a play's momentum on behalf of an entire audience suggests a generous character in defense of friends. But I ask her to spare a thought, please, for everyone else: the paying public who didn't go to a theater to see their neighbors, but simply came to see a play instead. They, along with the playwright, deserve consideration as well. Providing that is a part of my job -- particularly when other stage artists are having difficulty doing so.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Byron Woods on 07/31/2014 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

So, now it's missing.


Never mind.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 07/30/2014 at 9:35 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

I thought my now missing comment was pretty good, more ironic than the sarcasm I admitted to. My main point was I disagree (quite sharply, truth be told) with Byron Woods' opinion of the value of the chrononauts [who I was given to believe are akin to stagehands in a more conventional (and mundane) production].

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 07/30/2014 at 9:33 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Huh? "... the women APPEAR to be forging through ... a simulation of the terrains they discover ..." Wow! How did you ever figure that out? How perceptive of you. Are you perceptive enough to recognize sarcasm?

Jus' sayin'

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Brown on 07/30/2014 at 8:27 PM

Re: “On the uncompromising artifice of influential local painter and professor Marvin Saltzman

Mr. Saltzman was my favorite professor at Carolina. He told me I was an artist, and even pointed me out to colleagues of his and said the same thing. That meant more to my incredibly awkward and self conscious 19-year-old self than I can describe here. A hard ass, yes, but still a dear, dear man.

Posted by Ronda on 07/30/2014 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Victorian women explore the future in On the Verge

Dear Mr. Woods,
Did we see the same play? I thought the chrononauts did a great job of moving the action along and making the bridging from chapter to chapter more humorous and accessible to the audience. I also thought each woman's solo readings were not designed to achieve momentum, but to allow the audience to reflect along with each character. And to describe Seth Blum as merely "able" is a serious understatement .
My friends and I all were mesmerized by the action and would happily see it again!
A Fan of Thought-provoking Theater,
Julie Ritterskamp

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Julie Ritterskamp on 07/30/2014 at 9:36 AM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

TBAM, the club in question is set to do a lot of good in raleigh. I cant even comprehend why a writer for a small, local paper would want to tear them down, especially in such a catty, public way.
Something about this article has a special stink, (and I'm not talking about the aromatic handcrafted beard oils).

The author does everyone a disservice, and this article insults the efforts of;
Everyone who came out, everyone who spent countless hours to pull it off, everyone who spent months planning this event, everyone who competed, everyone who donated money, time and supplies to make the event a success.
There were a lot of selfless, hardworking individuals that helped put on the competition, for no other reasons than to help charity and have fun doing it.

I'm not going to attack the author's person, or what his article says about his own personality. If you read between the lines, it says enough, (or should I say, a lot). I'm also not going to make pointless quips about his sexual preferences, or why he doesnt partake in the humble joys of craft beer and bacon, for no other reason than it is no business of mine.

This is, indeed, a poor excuse for a newspaper article. It seems much more like a personal blog, and would be more at home in the pages of a diary than a magazine. It is clear, that he drew, in his estimation, the proverbial "short straw" in the Indy's staffroom and had come out with no intention of having a good time. If this were the case, it is completely understandable that the point of the whole thing went so far over his head that he didnt even bother to look up.
It's not about gender.
It's not about prizes.
It's not about making yourself look like an alien.
It's not about women looking for lumberjacks.
It's not about "beard culture".
It's not even about beards.


It's about fun for a good cause. Charity. Giving to a good organization and not even asking for a thank you. So many people bought raffle tickets as an excuse to donate more to the cause.

It was awfully convenient to leave the whole charity aspect out of the article altogether, whatever the "reason". No one would take that seriously, it would be way too honest; "Local bearded man sulks at beard and moustache competition, thousands of dollars raised for local charity"

He ought to have let one of the crafty bearded ladies purchase him a libation of his choice.

18 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by thevoiceofreason on 07/26/2014 at 3:00 AM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

Thanks for the plugs for our company. We are always very appreciative of any type of press. Being that we have one of the largest bearded fan pages on Facebook, and our Wonder Balm sales surpass anything else on the market, and is sold in 5 different countries, I find your perception humorous & ill informed at best. The world is full of haters, the bearded community if full of sheep such as those making the comments here, and your thoughts are nothing original and of your own. Our product has been reviewed countless times and has had nothing short of 110% feedback from the people reviewing the product. I'm quite certain, as has been the case time and time again, that you sir have never tried the product in which you are so opinionated about. Your hate has allowed you to invent a opinion of a product you have never tried and about a person you have never met. Same thing when it comes to my character, nothing you are crying about is original. I also appreciate your intel about our company and how I run it. I encourage ANY & EVERYONE to visit our page and seek out these "daily racists and misogynistic posts". Then and only then will everyone be able to see what a fraud you are how shit your opinion really is. 23K fans and growing don't simply support your claims. Thanks again for the press and the plug for our company. Stop by our Facebook page and join our steadily growing bearded empire. www.beardcommander.com / www.facebook.com/beardcommander

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Jim Vititow on 07/24/2014 at 2:12 PM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

Oh brother.... I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm bored.

Grayson, you this article makes you come across of someone who wants clicks (and a little troll like). You have achieved plenty of clicks from people around the country with this snarky and slightly amusing little article.

Now, the real reason I'm here is because of Jim Vititow. You are a sorry excuse for a "business owner", you are simply an opportunist. Your views are racist and misogynistic and you prove this on almost a daily basis when you post on your BEARD COMMANDER page. Anyone who buys your stuff should shave and you sir, are a damn poser.

12 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by BCIsAJoke on 07/24/2014 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

In this world it does not matter how much good a person or a group of well intended people try to do, there will always be someone who has some negativity to shed on the subject. Let him have his opinion and spread it to the masses. He cannot change the drive that we all have to help our local communities or tarnish the positive vibes that are rampant at these charity events. The very fact that he is talking about the community means we are doing something right. We can choose to join the negativity or choose to stay positive and continue doing what we love to do.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Carla D. Grigg on 07/24/2014 at 1:35 PM

Re: “Local bearded man attends beard competition, flees in mortal terror

Very pretentious with some very grandiose and narcissistic quality's himself.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joshua Feagin on 07/24/2014 at 12:40 PM

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