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Re: “Nine great local theater performances of 2015

Mychaelee, we do not refuse to attend and critique any theater groups. We see as much as humanly possible, and cover everything from the biggest professional theaters to the smallest community ones. So I'm really not sure what the subtext of your comment is. If there's a theater group you feel we have overlooked, I would be happy to learn more about it. You can reach me at bhowe@indyweek.com.

Posted by Brian Howe, INDY arts & culture editor on 12/23/2015 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Ten great local books of 2015

Thanks so much, Brian, for the opportunity to share a few of the 2015 book crop from the Carolinas. It's the tip of the iceberg, as usual! Looking forward to checking out your litfic coverage.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sam M-B on 12/23/2015 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Nine great local theater performances of 2015

Although I agree these are great performances. How can you proclaim to make accurate assessments when you refuse to attend and critique some theater groups and their performances? Sort of makes your list a bit unrealistic or potentially inaccurate.

Posted by mychaelee on 12/23/2015 at 10:22 AM

Re: “A regional theater expert thinks Triangle companies are too insular to thrive. Here’s how they can fix it.

Devra,
Your article raises very good points. I wonder if we might send copies to the leadership of all Triangle performing arts groups as a way to prompt action on the goal of cooperation and synergy.
Liz Thorpe

Posted by Liz404 on 12/09/2015 at 4:36 PM

Re: “A regional theater expert thinks Triangle companies are too insular to thrive. Here’s how they can fix it.

Thanks for being the needed mirror. I hope it will be the match, if not the kindling, to start a forest fire of much needed conversation. While solutions and action are important, context and process provide an interesting destination. Bravo.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John R. Harris, PhD on 12/03/2015 at 3:28 PM

Re: “A regional theater expert thinks Triangle companies are too insular to thrive. Here’s how they can fix it.

Devra - thank you for such an insightful, thoughtful and inspiring article!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeri Lynn on 12/02/2015 at 9:06 PM

Re: “A regional theater expert thinks Triangle companies are too insular to thrive. Here’s how they can fix it.

Devra this article is incisive, progressive and accurate for the growth, not for just triangle theater but theater anywhere and, hopefully, everywhere.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Jeffrey Miller on 12/02/2015 at 6:31 PM

Re: “Burning Coal Theatre Company has championed Middle Eastern artists. So why did its director deride them on Facebook?

'...he derided Middle Eastern culture for "generation after generation of incompetence, stupidity and failure."'

I did not see the original post, so maybe it is true that Mr. Davis wrote those words about "Middle Eastern culture". However, the group that claimed responsibility for the attacks was not a Middle Eastern culture group; it was the Islamic State. This was carried about by Islamic jihadists, with explicitly Muslim justifications. Euphemisms do not help. Of course, if Mr. Davis did refer specifically to Middle Eastern culture, then he was the one obfuscating the matter.

Funny how progressives cannot handle an angry facebook comment, made right after the outrageous Paris attacks, yet they are often fine with talking about Republicans, or Christians, using the same ideas and, indeed, the same specific terms used by Mr. Davis. A few days ago, I endured a little sermonette about people living in the middle of the US. The speaker stressed how "stupid" they were, not to mention cravenly fearful. This was, as we know, hardly an isolated sort of incident. You hear it all the time.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by briteness on 12/02/2015 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Indies Arts Awards: The Pinhook’s Kym Register uses her rock club to empower Durham voices

The most deserving human on the earth! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!

Posted by Bri Flannery Aab on 11/23/2015 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Indies Arts Awards: Durham poet Dasan Ahanu uses hip-hop education and action to inspire more work

Durham's history is so rich--and unique within NC-- that our city needs its own Poet Laureate Program. This place has a vibrant identity, and I can't think of anyone who voices it more eloquently than Dasan. Durham Mighty Pen has done a lot of research about the growth of city-wide Poet Laureate Programs (and Youth Poet Laureate programs!) and has started a facebook page to gather support for a petition to the mayor and city council. If you are interested in signing the petition to create a Poet Laureate Program for Durham, please follow the movement here: https://www.facebook.com/APoetLaureateforDurham/

Posted by K.G. on 11/19/2015 at 4:12 PM

Re: “The Addams Family, Mr. Burns and Asylum: A haunting trio of local productions, just in time for Halloween

Mr. Burns is both hilarious and deeply moving, and I'm still thinking about it more than a week later.

Posted by khoragos on 11/06/2015 at 11:58 AM

Re: “The Addams Family, Mr. Burns and Asylum: A haunting trio of local productions, just in time for Halloween

Just saw Mr. Burns. I feared the play would be too dark and depressing. And although there were elements of loss, I was pleasantly surprised that the play becomes increasingly delightful and full of hope, with some wonderfully witty musical numbers.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by chuck02 on 11/05/2015 at 10:47 PM
Posted by kwix on 10/22/2015 at 4:27 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

Re: "Vesper, a white person born in the 1970s..." I think this might be the same Pamela Vesper who ran for the NC Court of Appeals in 2010 (see: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/pamela-ma…) and was born in 1966. She's almost 50 years old, and she's worked in a profession (law) that is all about research. I think she could have pieced together a few essential facts about blue-collar black comedians and the intent of this play had she wanted to. I think there's a political angle that's being buried here. She cites visual artists Serrano and Ofili, who were both used during culture war battles about what should and shouldn't be considered art. If she's tried to seriously engage with playwright Lee or with Serrano and Ofili, you can't tell from the review excerpts we see here. Vesper's writing about this play and Serrano and Ofili comes across as reactionary, and paints all of this art as a grift meant to separate decent people from their money. It all may well be mediocre art, for all I know, but it's the job of the critic to explain that a little better than "because I say so."

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by zeno.bardot on 09/26/2015 at 4:36 PM

Re: “A novel agreement between a landlord and artists gives Raleigh a new art space

I believe one of the artists mentioned is actually Sally Van Gorder, not Gordon.

Posted by MH on 09/24/2015 at 5:12 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

Damn good read. You summed up my thoughts precisely with this text:

In order to write about such negative representations, a critic must know about them. But one way in which white privilege manifests itself in our culture is by sheltering a white community from the true history of neglected adjacent communities.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by J.P. McPickleshitter on 09/24/2015 at 2:26 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

I don't understand why Pamela Vesper has received the bulk of the criticism. Kurt Benrud is also credited with co-writing the review. I take it he wasn't even present, but then, why was his name attached to this review?

Also, if you visit the website, the review has been replaced with a retraction, but this retraction is also credited to Kurt Benrud and Pamela Vesper! Did they author the retraction as well?

Or... are we talking about a website that has a very tenuous understanding of the basic rules of attribution?

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by RayNRal on 09/23/2015 at 3:51 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

Oops, no, it was James Morrison (sorry Craig, if you're reading this!)

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/compassio…

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MichaelB on 09/23/2015 at 2:30 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

Ah, takes me back to the time an Indy reviewer (was it Craig Livingstone? I honestly can't remember) walked out on Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, declaring it fascist, pro-Bush propaganda, without staying to the conclusion that undercut that exact theme.

Critics -- they're human too. Who knew?

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MichaelB on 09/23/2015 at 2:28 PM

Re: “A racially charged play in Durham prompts a walkout and a pan from a local critic. What went wrong?

Thank you for this insightful and incisive analysis, Byron!

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ruby Sinreich on 09/23/2015 at 9:56 AM

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