Sheila Callaghan: Apparently Women Don’t Write or Direct Plays in New York

Dead City, spurned by the Drama Desk.Photo: Jim Baldassare, courtesy of New Georges

What the theater bloggers are all in a dither about this week:

The Drama Desk nominees were announced last week, leading Lunch Truck’s Anthony King to ponder the irony of earning two nods for his much-beloved Gutenberg! the same day it posted closing notices. Meanwhile, Sheila Callaghan (author of last year’s acclaimed Dead City, directed by Daniella Topol) notes one detail:

Anyone else notice that not one female playwright or female director made the 2007 list of Drama Desk nominees? Maybe it’s because no females were putting up plays in New York this year. Oh wait. Nevermind.

Meanwhile, Daily Kos sparked a generation of political bloggers as activists; can theater bloggers do the same? Mr. Excitement tried a little experiment on behalf of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, a theater company in West Virginia that’s standing by its production of Israel-Palestine docudrama My Name Is Rachel Corrie (notoriously “postponed” last year by our own New York Theatre Workshop) even after a major donor pulled out $100,000 in protest. At the beginning of April, Mr. Excitement called for bloggers to send donations to “reward good behavior” by CATF. At the end of April, he isn’t thrilled by the results:

The response to my challenge: very discouraging. Hardly anyone emailed me to let me know they’d donated to CATF. And the idea wasn’t to drain anyone’s bank account (I gave $11), it was to “reward good behavior” by letting theaters hear voices other than those of their subscribers and board members. The results don’t indicate that the theater blog community is willing to organize around something most of us claimed to really believe in.

And debate still rages over the Mike Daisey affair! Nick from Rat Sass thinks Mike faked his outrage over a mass walkout from his show, eager for publicity. Daisey’s taking the high road, reaching out to the students of the school group in question. And Angry White Guy in Chicago Don Hall takes issue with Daisey’s description of the incident as an “assault”:

The jag who poured the water was completely out of line, but there’s no room for crybabies in theater. The organ grinder’s monkey doesn’t whine about the fact that he has to wear that stupid hat, does he? And those little fuckers bite if you get too close to them.

—Mac Rogers

Sheila Callaghan: Apparently Women Don’t Write or Direct Plays in New York