If you want a thing done

For the four of you who don’t know, I have been spending quality time with a wonderful group of theatremakers from all over the world (Vancouver, Chicago, London, and Toowoomba!) trying to think of ways to raise the profile of World Theatre Day in our various localities, and especially here in North America.

We’ve flooded Twitter and our personal networks with requests and suggestions for activities to mark the day.

To be quite honest, I have lagged behind the group. I pushed and pushed on folks here in town, but aside from the ever-on-top-of-it Hyde Park Theatre who will be holding a reception after their show next Friday, I got no response from the Austin crowd. I was pretty frustrated, but the gang in town is pretty busy right now, so I was trying to move on to other ideas.

My wife, being helpful as wives are, asked what I was doing for World Theatre Day. Dozens of e-mails and Facebook bombings and Twitter strafing aside… nothing.

Until Monday.

On Monday I met with Latifah Taormina, the head of the Austin Circle of Theatres. I am pleased to announce that on World Theatre Day, March 27, 2009, Cambiare Productions in association with the Austin Circle of Theatres will be presenting a staged reading of Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children (.pdf) at the Dougherty Arts Center here in Austin.

Featuring some of the very finest performers that Austin has to offer, to be followed by a discussion facilitated by Robert Faires and C. Denby Swanson, this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the power of spoken word, and to really dig into discussion of a piece that has really caused such a firestorm in the theatrical (and blogospherical) world.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

This is WORLD Theatre Day after all, and with the gracious permission of Ms. Churchill and her representatives, we will be  livestreaming the event! That’s right fake people who live in my computer, you too can witness our event in real time. It will be embedded here on CambiareProductions.com so keep you eyes peeled.

I am dreadfully excited to be able to present this, and to work with such fabulous folks in doing so. Whatever your take on the controversial Seven Jewish Children, it’s a powerful piece and will elicit reactions, and isn’t that the point of theatre? To get through?

Spread the word near and far.
If you’re in Austin come on down,
it’s free and it will be fascinating.
If you’re not in Austin?
Log on and check it out. 

  • Way to go! It's too bad I live on the east coast. I would enjoy being a part of that conversation. I will put it on my list of things to check up on during my down time on the 27th…

  • Fantastic work, Travis! Can't wait to see the stream!

  • Right ON!! Nice work Travis, and thanks to the great question your wife asked. She's a smart cookie! World Theatre Day is ever expanding.

  • Moises

    Denegrating Jews with agit-prop, que progress for world theater!

  • Is it denigrating a people to question the actions of their government?

  • Moises

    Vilifying Jews does not equal questioning the Israeli (“their”) government.

  • I understand that you have made up your mind about this, but I invite you to watch the stream on Friday and at least see my point of view on it.

  • Robert Matney

    The play does not villify Jews. It doesn't even villify the Israeli government. It certainly critiques, and it is not an even balance, I think, on the issues, but “villify” is a sound-bitey exageration.

  • Adam Hilton

    Well-said, Rob. Also, one must consider that a performance removed from the source (playwright/author), as is with this performance, is not the well-defined agit-prop of yesteryear. It is, as Ron Kampeas wrote in his critique of the play for the JTA, “not necessarily a validation of the writer's perspective; it is an engagement with it. A good performance disputes the text.” Here's to hoping that we can evolve to this level with this performance in honor of World Theatre Day.

  • Robert Matney

    The play does not villify Jews. It doesn't even villify the Israeli government. It certainly critiques, and it is not an even balance, I think, on the issues, but “villify” is a sound-bitey exageration.

  • Adam Hilton

    Well-said, Rob. Also, one must consider that a performance removed from the source (playwright/author), as is with this performance, is not the well-defined agit-prop of yesteryear. It is, as Ron Kampeas wrote in his critique of the play for the JTA, “not necessarily a validation of the writer's perspective; it is an engagement with it. A good performance disputes the text.” Here's to hoping that we can evolve to this level with this performance in honor of World Theatre Day.