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Condition: Critical (David Cote, Time Out New York)

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Start:
Oct 25, 2010
End:
Oct 25, 2010
Cost:
Free
Venue:
Segal Theater
David Cote Photo by Jenny Woodward

David Cote
Photo by Jenny Woodward

Theater editor and drama critic David Cote invites you to gather and eulogize a dying profession: theater criticism. Perhaps that’s overly dramatic and premature, but there’s no denying that blogs, Twitter and shrinking media budgets are taking a toll on this once-honored vocation. What is the difference between reviewing and criticism? Can online platforms lead to a resurgence of long-form criticism, or can they re-define the triad of artist, critic and audience member? How have the aesthetics of blogs affected the language of criticism? What are new models for creating and disseminating criticism? Cote’s guests include Jefrey Eric Jenkins (Best Plays Yearbook, NYU), Claudia La Rocco (The New York Times, WNYC),Rob Weinert-Kendt (American Theatre), and Jason Zinoman (New York Times).

David Cote is theater editor and chief drama critic for Time Out New York. He teaches arts criticism at Brooklyn College. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Times (UK), Opera News and the Guardian. He has contributed several essays to the Best Plays Yearbook series. He is a member of the New York Drama Critics Circle and a contributing critic for NY1’s On Stage. David has written three popular companion books about hit Broadway musicals: Wicked: The Grimmerie, Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening: In the Flesh. He is also an early-career playwright and librettist. Plays include Otherland (commissioned by Gingold Theatrical Group). Opera libretti: Fade and The Scarlet Ibis (composer Stefan Weisman) and A Child Possessed (composer Robert Paterson). Fellowships: The MacDowell Colony. In the ’90s, he was an actor, working with Richard Foreman, Richard Maxwell and Iranian expat auteur Assurbanipal Babilla. He founded and edited the ’zine OFF: the journal of alternative theater (1996-98). B.A. Bard College, 1992. David was born and adopted in NH.

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins is a faculty member in the Drama Department at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he has taught theatre history, theory, and criticism since 1998. In January 2011, he will become Director of Theatre Studies at NYU. He is series editor of the Best Plays Theater Yearbook, an annual collection of commissioned critical essays and historical reference on the year in theatre; he has published eight volumes to date. His 2004 book, Under the Copper Beech: Conversations With American Theater Critics, is an edited collection of interviews with 20th century theatre critics from around the United States. Recent books include chapters in Interrogating America Through Theatre and Performanceand Angels in American Theater: Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy.

Jenkins has also taught at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Washington, and SUNY Stony Brook. From 1996 to 2006 he covered local, New York, and national theatre events for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Jenkins has contributed to The New York TimesAmerican Literary HistoryTheatre JournalSlavic and East European PerformanceThe David Mamet ReviewBack StageVarietyStagebillTheater WeekPeripheryBest Plays, and Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre. He was managing editor of Theatre Topics, a Johns Hopkins University Press journal, from 1995 to 2000. He is the former editor of ATHENews (1994-97), received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Meritorious Service Award in Editing (1997), and served on ATHE Research and Publications Committee from its inception until 2000. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including several from the prestigious Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Jenkins took drama and theatre degrees, in research and studio concentrations, from the University of East Anglia (UK), Carnegie Mellon University, and San Francisco State University. He has directed nearly three dozen productions in professional and educational theatres across the United States. He was a member of the management team for Peter Brook renowned productions of The Mahabharata and The Cherry Orchard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and has produced new-play festivals in New York and New Jersey.A member of Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee since 1997, honors that celebrate outstanding New York theatre design on, Off and Off Off Broadway. He has chaired the awards since 2002. Jenkins serves on the boards of the American Theatre Wing and the Theater Hall of Fame. He is President of the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC ).

Claudia La Rocco writes about performance for the New York Times, is an editor-at-large for the Brooklyn Rail, and has written for a range of other outliets, including Artforum, Classical TV and Musical America.  From 2008 to 2010, she served as a cultural critic for WNYC New York Public Radio, where she created the social and online performance club ( http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/performance/). She has taught criticism at the School of Visual Art’s graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing and Long Island University’s CW Post campus, and has been a guest leicturer and teacher in a variety of settings, including Arizona State University, the Springdance/festival in the Netherlands and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Dance at the American Dance Festival.  She is a member of the Off The Park poetry press, where she is currently editing an anthology of poems by painters.

Rob Weinert-Kendt is associate editor of American Theatre magazine and founding co-editor of StageGrade.com. He writes about theater for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Time Out New York, among other publications. He was the founding editor of Back Stage West. He’s also a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

Rob Weinert-Kendt is associate editor of American Theatre magazine and founding co-editor of StageGrade.com. He writes about theater for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Time Out New York, among other publications. He was the founding editor of Back Stage West. He’s also a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

Jason Zinoman is a critic and reporter covering theater for The New York Times. He has also regularly written about movies, television, books and sports for publications such as Vanity FairThe Guardian, The Economist and Slate. His new book “Shock Value: How A Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror” will be released by Penguin Press in July of 2011. He grew up in Washington D.C. and now lives in Brooklyn.

 

6:30 p.m., Monday, October 25, 2010
Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!