I’ve been asked by NewMusicBox and the National Performing Arts Convention to attend the 2011 TCG (Theater Communications Group) National Conference and create a blog offering a window into the convention through the eyes of “New Music.” OK, so here goes…
TCG is celebrating its 50th anniversary as an organization, which is a pretty big deal in the theatre world, and it has chosen Los Angeles as the site for its anniversary convention, which is a pretty big deal to those of us in the L.A. theatre scene. Many of us see it is a validation of our city as a vital hub of the art form. Leading theatre artists in L.A. are all atwitter about the gathering happening in our backyard… or living room, really.
‘Round about 5:30 today, I left my home in Glendale to head downtown to the Biltmore Hotel to register.
A few minutes later (because I know my shortcuts), I was at the Biltmore.
Once inside, it took some walking around to find the “Gold Room” for registration.
No, that’s not it.
Tempting, but not yet…
A-ha! There it is!
And inside, the bustling theatre capitol of the world.
Now to register….
What? Don’t you know who I am??? (Understandable, considering nobody knew I was attending until this morning.)
Then, after several minutes of blatant hob-nobbing with Ben Krywosz and Ann Closs-Farley…
Check me out, I’m PRESS. Now for some hard-hitting journalism on the state of New Music in American Theatre.
OK, well, truth be told, today was kind of a bust. Mostly the registration reception consisted of people wandering around wondering what was happening. I was fortunate enough to run into many friends and colleagues including the following:
Ben Krywosz of Nautilus Music-Theatre
Rob Kendt of American Theatre Magazine
Neel Keller and Charles Dillingham of Center Theatre Group
someone I could’ve sworn was Jeannie Hackett of the Antaeus Company
Matt Graber of the Blank Theatre
Doug Clayton of LA Stage Alliance
the real Jeannie Hackett of the Antaeus Company
In a particularly surreal moment, I saw my face projected as a part of L.A. Stage Alliance’s “Faces of Los Angeles Theater” multimedia display (I’m the one with the facial hair).
(To add to the surreality, the face next to mine is Fran Bennett, who happened to be one of my teachers at CalArts 20 years ago…)
After about an hour, and no real insights into the state of New Music in American Theatre, I had to head off to rehearsal for (insert shameless plug) Stranger Things produced by the Ghost Road Company, where I knew there was some new music happening because I’m writing it.
It being the 21st Century and all, I have the wonderful ability to interact directly with you, dear readers. (Dear readers…?) What questions regarding the nexus of music and theatre would you like to see addressed in this forum? The theme, or motto, of this convention is “What if…?” My personal “what if” is: “What if… revolutionary creators of theatre and music worked together to create new performance works outside of the traditional rules of “musical theater” and “opera”?
What’s your “what if”? Feel free to comment on this blog, or find me at www.facebook.com/davidomusic.