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Tommer Peterson

Here's a link to links with a lot fo good talk about this book: http://www.giarts.org/blog/gia-news/outrageous-fortune-life-and-times-new-american-play-new-book-stirs-theater-blogosphere

S.P. Miskowski

"Mid-career is the crisis point for playwrights, and the new play ecosystem has nothing in place to help playwrights through it."

Some would ask why theater owes this to playwrights. The people who would ask do not understand writing or writers or what brings audiences to the theater.

I'm glad this discussion is underway. My writing friends and I have been talking about these issues for about 15 years, while seeing the field get worse and worse, with ADs becoming more and more cavalier in their dismissal of writers as a particular group with particular skills you cannot find anywhere else.

I keep seeing friends on Facebook signing up as fans of youth theater programs. I support and believe in these programs. I have served on a panel to direct funds for youth arts programs, and I have participated in several theater projects for middle school students. I know it's important to support this--but I think we're going about it in the wrong way. Very few of the kids in arts programs will become artists, yet we treat them like budding artists. What happened to teaching kids how and why to appreciate art as viewers and audience members? Isn't this what we need, to build our audience for the future--better educated audiences, instead of more starving artists?

I also believe in arts training for young artists. Yet somehow I can't make myself sign up for more youth theater. Not until the commitment to kids is matched by a commitment to grownups, to mature work for people over the age of 19, to artists who are aging out of their own chosen profession due the youth-lust of shortsighted ADs.

I hope this discussion breaks the back of the current situation. But I am skeptical.

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