25 June 2004

Blog the Boards

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that On the Boards, a theatre devoted to contemporary performance, has created Blog the Boards, a way for audience members to write reviews of performances. I was initially interested because I know some people who have performed there, so I wanted to see if they got any reviews, but as I roamed around, I found the dialogue interesting and the entire concept fairly provocative. In terms of feedback, it's not much different from the message boards some magazines and publishers have set up, but I don't know of any theatres doing quite the same thing. Certainly, Amazon lets people write their opinions about everything from books to owl puke, but for a theatre to open up a forum on its own website for people to freely review shows that are still running ... that takes guts. The spirit with which it is done is a noble one:
But what if our bloggers write negative things about our work? Actually, we expect there will be criticism; we're very critical ourselves. But part of being an organization dedicated to contemporary performance is experimenting. And sometimes experiments don't work out. It's only by trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn't that better art gets made. If we don't make mistakes and miscalculations, then we're not taking enough chances.

Art should move you. Good art should make your blood boil. Great art should grab ahold of your soul and compel you to respond. No reaction is the worst kind of failure for an artist. Unfortunately, for most of us, there are too few opportunities to get embroiled in passionate discussion about art.
So after you've visited The Science Fiction Museum, stop by On the Boards, see a show, and write about it.

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