Stage Raw: NEA and John Fleck, Back Together Again
Randy Sean Schulman applies the convention of silent film to live theater. With a group
called The Collective, he created acclaimed works such as Infinity and La Giaconda His latest work, Luminous Birch,
created sans The Collective, is a fairy tale that follows a fair maiden
"into the Light Dimension" through the influences of Terry Gilliam,
Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. It continues this weekend at Greenway Court Theatre. Check back here for the review on Monday after noon. Photo by Michael Malik
JOHN FLECK AND THE NEA, BACK TOGETHER AGAIN
Anyone with an institutional memory will remember the infamous NEA Four (Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, Tim Miller and John Fleck) - a quartet of performance artists who were denied funding by the head of the National Endowment for the Arts, despite sailing through peer-panel reviews. The rationale of then-NEA head John Frohnmeyer was that their work was too risque for public funding. They sued the federal agency and won in the Supreme Court - a decision that was partly overturned in 1998 on the grounds that public funding is not a constitutional entitlement, and that "community standards" may contribute to a determination of such funding.
It's coming on 20 years since that uproar, and there's some irony that a performance by Fleck is launching the NEA's 2009 Institute in Theater and Musical Theater for Arts Journalism with a performance of his Side Effects May Include, 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 14 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, 70 N. Mentor Avenue in Pasadena.
(Yours truly will be delivering the Institute's keynote address immediately following Fleck's performance, and will be serving on its faculty.)
Our primary audience will be a gathering of selected mid-career arts critics from around the nation who are in Los Angeles for an 11-day boot camp of theater-going, reviewing performances on gruesome deadlines and ruminating on the state of a profession that, to put it benignly, is rapidly changing. However, the performance and keynote are open to the general public
RSVP here by Monday to Arianna Sikorski, Program Coordinator, USC Annenberg School for Communication. (213) 437-4413
Check back here Monday after noon for the NEW THEATER REVIEWS seen over the weekend. To find out what's being covered, press the Continue Reading tab directly below.
CHECK BACK HERE MONDAY AFTER NOON FOR REVIEWS OF:
Octavio Solis' Lydia at the Taper; the world premiere of Richard Greenberg's Our Mother's Brief Affair at South Coast Rep; the west coast premiere of Dana Yeaton's play The Big Random, presented by Sight Unseen at the Attic Theatre & Film Center; Groundlings, In the Study, With a Candlestick, sketch comedy and improv at the Groundling Theatre; the world premiere of Randy Sean Schulman's Luminous Birch at Greenway Court Theater; Lydia R. Diamond's Stick Fly at the Matrix; >3, an ensemble piece created by Brimmer Street Theatre Company at the Studio/Stage; Justin Tanner's new comedy, Voice Lessons, at the Zephyr; a new rock musica, Gothmas, by Laura Lee Bahr, Kerr Seth Lordygan and George "Drew" DeRieux at the Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood; and Any1Man by George Peters II at the Alexia Robinson Studio in Burbank;
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