31 Aug

A question for you

I am soliciting thoughts and ideas.

I am working on a new piece called Appointment,, which will have its first in-progress performance at Prelude next month. It’s a series of repeatable performances for one performer and one viewer.

Right now I’m writing and thinking, and here’s what I’m hoping I can pull off: I want to ask the viewer a question that is general enough that the viewer feels like he/she is making up a response that is really her/his own. Meaning, it has to not feel like multiple choice.

BUT, I also want to craft what follows their response so that it feels like I just answered you and you alone, that I tailored the piece totally personally in the moment, for you. That the viewer changed the course of the work.

To me this means I either improvise each response on the spot, which would take some practice, and I don’t even know if it’s possible, or I come up with a range of, say, five responses, which could feel personal enough, memorize them all, and choose the one that seems most appropriate to that viewer.

What do you think I should do?

Can you imagine the kind of question that could provoke a limited, but seemingly free, number of responses?

Please feel free to comment or write me.

27 Aug

Collective Arts Think Tank is live

Collective Arts Think Tank has unveiled itself!


What does that mean?

A few months ago, a blog exchange among a couple artists, a couple presenters, a journalist, sundry arts professionals and a funder or two, about the state of contemporary live performance, took place on WNYC’s Performance Club blog (http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/performance/).

A few of us were charged up enough by the exchange to get together, and we met to try and come up with some observations, and recommendations to the field. We invited funders, audience members and other artists and arts professionals in; we hashed out our common ground as well as our uncommon ground; and then we wrote up the results.

The group right now includes Lost Notebook’s Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, The Chocoate Factory’s Brian Rogers and Sheila Lewandowski, The Field’s Jennifer Wright Cook, PS 122’s Vallejo Gantner and others. Individually and sometimes together, we have served on panels and town meetings. We came together out of a shared set of concerns about what we see as systemic problems facing the field of contemporary live performance. We plan to keep meeting regularly.

What came out of our meetings so far is now up on its very own blog:


Did we find all the answers? Likely we didn’t. Did we try to go beyond merely complaining, or wishing we were Europe, or blaming one or another party completely? We did. We think of ourselves as stakeholders, and I’m writing to you because you are a stakeholder, too.

Some of my thinking on these subjects has been informed by my work with Creative Capital’s amazing Professional Development Program, some by my work with Elevator Repair Service Theater, and some by my own experience as a theatermaker, fundraiser and panelist since 1993. I hope you’ll read, respond, applaud, take-us-to-task, take us out to lunch, and think about this stuff with us.

Our hope is that CATT becomes a fulcrum for ongoing, productive and rigorous conversation about our field, what we can do to make it better, and what already makes it so great.

Best wishes for a righteous, raucus, revelatory new season.

09 Aug


I’m beginning what I hope will be an ongoing collaborative performance project called Appointment this fall. It’s a series of repeatable 12-15 performances works, created in collaboration with artists, students and other folks, for one audience member and one performer (mostly).

Appointment will first be presented at the Prelude Festival here in New York, on October 2nd, and then next spring at the TITAN Theater Academy in Oslo, Norway.

If you’d like to follow the progress of Appointment (or be a part of it yourself), please go to the official Appointment Blog Site. It’s still in progress – if you have a thought about how it looks, please drop me a line

08 Aug


Not posting for a while because I’ve been consumed with the arrival of Harold Emmett Landsman. Born July 14, at 3:31AM, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces. We hope to take him to France for his birthday before he’s too old not to think all the celebrating’s for him.

He is delicious and amazing. Photo by Maury Landsman. Miniature human by Aaron Landsman and Johanna S. Meyer.