The cold fusion reference comes in as my cover story because I just spent a couple hours pouring over a handful of well-written theatre blogs and the debate du jour seems to be about postmodernism, minimalism, the utility of theatre, etc. And wrangling with avowed postmodernists over the validity of their methods (to say nothing of the larger philosophy) feels rather like trying to discover cold fusion using an eighth-grade science book, two bunson burners, a dead cow heart, and one pair of unsterilized latex gloves. Only less exciting.
Anyway, those of you who've tracked the conversation back to this summer can probably guess my position on all this. But I wanted to share these gentlemen with the rest of you because they're really keeping me on my toes. In a fit of giddy sensory-overload I fear I blathered my way to embarrassment with a few hasty posts -- a crime I've dodged on this sight by not posting so much anymore. But I want to get back into the fray and these guys remind me how much I have to learn and how much I already love talking about this stuff. Please meet Steve, Scott, George, and Matt.
- Steven Oxman. Theatre Matters. You can't post comments on this blog, but that's just as well. Steve is a television and theatre critic for Variety, but he's also done time at the LA Times and has first-person accounts of other hefty critics out there in NYC. He puts out at least one well-wrought essay a day and also works as a primary source dashboard for print articles on theatre. He's also generously linked over to and commented on other bloggers like ...
- George Hunka. Superfluities. Where Theatre Matters reads like the kid-brother hobby channel version of an already-established critic, Superfluities is more blogocentric. I don't mean that disparagingly; George has very organized, far-reaching, and well-read web of links to the larger theatre blogging community and he marshalls the traffic of ideas pretty well. He's also a critic for nytheatre.com and appears to have either read everything in the world or made honest effort to try. I don't jive with every conclusion he comes to, but as an e-scholar he's great.
- Scott Walters. Theatre Ideas. Scott is a professor and director in Asheville, NC. He volleys back and forth with the above-mentioned blogs, but goes the extra step by offering a synthesis to issues the other blogs skitter around. Plus he writes posts with titles like: "How to Help the Audience, Part Two" and "Synthesis" -- to give you some idea of what he's up to. Scott takes what George and Steve are chewing on and teases out some pretty exciting conclusions.
- Matt J. Theatre Conversation and Political Frustration. Matt is a grad student in Long Island. No, that's not why he's #4 here. Like Scott, Matt is eager to resolve or transcend issues generated by the other guys. His post "On the Postmodern Critique" triggered the latest round of internal links and comments. He's got the refreshing perspective of someone who's a) frustrated with what he's learned and b) eager to find an answer through informed conversation. Hence the title.
Anyone heard from Trillum lately? Well ... whomever and wherever you are: I thought of you a lot as I jockeyed around these other blogs.