About a month ago I wrote a post that had the most comments and controversy of all my posts since I started writing this blog. Well, after all that discussion, a decision has been made that I think finds a good balance.
Like many said, I also believe that the more people we have talking about theatre the better. Anything I can do to help that I am on board with; however, at the same time, I also want to keep it within the scope of what this blog, and my mandate, is about which is getting younger people going to theatre.
So I suggested to Ellie (Publicist for PuSh) that maybe I could go to see a handful of PuSh shows and then afterwards discuss why the show would appeal to an 18-35 crowd. Essentially I would try to demystify - for some who may have preconceived notions - what the PuSh Festival is as well as the kinds of shows that are part of the festival. Basically telling you, my readers, what is cool about the show I just saw. So I wouldn't be writing a "review" per se but a discussion of what makes the PuSh festival cool and why you should check it out rather than go to a movie or concert or play video games, etc.
More than anything though I think it was the comment from Jocelyn that made the biggest impact on me and helped me make my final decision. She wrote:
“As a blogger, netizen and ‘young person’ I am the first to admit that I seek the opinion of ‘educated opinionists’ when I want to see a show, read a book, get a haircut, and so on.
I know NOTHING about theatre except two people who work in the industry. I go see what my friend lois tells me to (and invites me to!). So I see the utility of inviting bloggers to review the PuSH festival. I see it as part of an effort to be understood and loved by a wide audience, not just the type of people who read theatre reviews in the paper.
I understand the fear of a conflict of interest, but as long as you are confident that none of the major players are people you work with or know, or are worried about offending, I say you are perfect for the role. I am a non-creative-industry person. I need someone who knows it to help me understand what is good and what is bad, how I should appreciate something or - sometimes - to put me in front of something that challenges me. I don't usually get that from strangers' reviews in the paper.
Because, let's face it. I don't read the paper. I read the internets.”
Like I always say theatre is about the audience. I write this blog for my audience and readers. As much as I appreciate (and am grateful for) the opinions of those in the industry more than anything I value the opinions of the average audience member/reader. If I’m presented with an opportunity to help, in any way, to demystify this thing we call “theatre” for them then I can hardly say no.
So, here is my schedule of shows: I will be attending Jerk on January 21st, Nevermore on January 22nd & The Edward Curtis Project on January 23rd. The following week I will see Poetics on January 27th and The Passion Project on January 28th. I will try and post my thoughts for discussion the next day.
Five shows in the span of one week. That is a lot of theatre to attend. I’m excited to do it and I look forward to writing about it. Thanks to Ellie for organizing all this and being on board and so enthusiastic about my idea.