Today in My History

2000:  Light Just One Little Candle
Inertia Challenge
Sex and Tim Tams
The Glass Man Cometh
I'm Too Sensitive

2005:  Sensitivity
2006: Yan Yuhuan Gets Drunk
2007: Mabel Finds a Home
2008: Anybody Can...?
I Can't Even Imagine
2010:  Loss and Disappointment
2011:  See Your Impact
2012: Rearing Its Ugly Head Again
A Davis Happening
2014: She'll Be the Death of Me
Defining Dishes
2016: Today at Logos
2017: Here we go again
Sunday Stealing
2019: Show Biz Weekend
I've Been Shot

Books Read in 2021
 Updated 9/27
"Teacher" by
Alec Clayton

Theater Reviews
Updated 9/27
Singin' in the Rain
Mary Poppins

My family

Bev's 65 x 365

Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

Cast (updated 7/16)

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev


7 October 2021

Maybe it's because I'm a theater critic and my friends are theater critics, but I'm finding it frustrating that "the arts" aren't being supported as much by media as they have been for most of my life.

The Sacramento Bee had one of the most professional theater critics around, but they fired him because they were shutting down their arts department.  Now they have no critic on staff and since I don't take The Bee, I don't know if they have reviews of shows in the paper or not.

My friend was a stringer, writing for a few papers who needed/wanted a review, but now they are not hiring stringers and so if anything is written, it's by whoever is on staff, whether they have any theatrical experience or not.

The thing is that theater depends on media.  How are you going to know whether you want to go to a show if you have no review to read?  (It always made me feel good when someone said they never bought tickets to shows until they read my reviews.)

I suspect that the new arts editor for the paper I write for thinks that as long as a review gets into the paper, that's fine.  But when I go to a show on a weekend, I make sure the paper has the review on Monday so they can print it early in the week so people can read it and decide whether to buy a ticket or not.  But when the review isn't printed until the end of the week, the review has done nothing for the sale of tickets for that weekend, and with community theaters who only run shows for a few weeks, it makes a big difference.

It especially makes a big difference in this COVID time, when theaters are just starting up and people are unsure whether it's safe to go to see a show or not.  In each of the 3 reviews I've written this year, I made certain to let people know what the safety precautions were, so they could decide if they felt comfortable going to a theater with a group of people.

With newspapers cutting their staff, they no longer have experienced theater people heading an arts department (for awhile the guy doing arts for the local paper was the sports editor, who had never been to a theatrical produciton!).  In fact, they no longer have arts departments, just someone who is responsible for getting arts information into the paper wherever he/she feels it should go.

The last arts editor for the paper I work for was wonderful.  She always got reviews printed early, contacted theater companies if she didn't have the information she needed and in the years I worked with her, I never had any complaint whatsoever.

(She actually was such an improvement over the previous editor.  I once had a discussion with the previous editor because in choosing the photo to run with a review of Billy Elliot, a musical about a guy who wants to become a ballet dancer, she chose the photo of Billy in boxing gloves with his father.  I learned that she is homophobic and didn't want to print a picture of a boy dancing ballet.)

But the good arts editor got a new, better job at a magazine recently, and I miss her.

Information that was sent to the paper by a local community theater had information about the upcoming show with photographs and ticket information, but nothing was ever printed. There was information about things happening in other communities that made it into the paper instead.

The whole point, in my opinion, for having a newspaper in a small town like Davis, is to focus on local news, and if there is extra room, then add news from other communities.  When the person doing arts was asked why nothing about the upcoming show was published he was told it was "because there was no room in the paper."

Like I said, I may have an unusual feeling about arts information and newspapers because I'm a critic.  Maybe people don't notice.  Maybe it doesn't make any difference, but it just seems to me that in a small town, if you have a theatre company that has been around for more than 30 years and is very popular with the citizens of the town, the newspaper should give it publicity when it needs it, especially when live theater is just starting to return and people need to know how safe it is to attend a show with 100 or so other people.



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