Monday, May 03, 2010

Thurs, May 6 @ 6 P.M: Outrageous Fortune The Life and Times of the New American Play: Reading, Q & A session and wine & cheese reception (FREE)

Todd London and Ben Pesner, authors of Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play, along with TDF’s executive director, Victoria Bailey, will read from, and take questions about the year’s most talked about study.

Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play looks at the lives and livelihoods of American playwrights today and at the realities of new-play production from the perspective of both playwrights and not-for-profit theatre. The study, drawing on years of comprehensive research, reveals a collaboration in crisis between the people who write plays and those who produce them. Outrageous Fortune makes clear the urgent need for new conversations and practices if the American play is to flourish.

Outrageous Fortune has been the most blogged about book of the season:

"If you have any serious interest in playwrights or statistics, it is a must-read." --Theresa Rebeck, The Guardian

"What the authors do with this book is start a conversation on where we have been and where we need to go. And that is a conversation long overdue." --Timothy Braun, CultureBot

"Most revealing in this a kind of artistic red state/blue state divide of perceptions between theater producers and playwrights, who have clearly been relegated to outsider status, and whose opportunities for production and income have imploded." --Steve Leigh Morris, L.A. Weekly

"A serious, important, and fairly damning study about the state of new play development and the experience of being a playwright in America today." --Rebecca Novick, Theatre Bay Area

"Outrageous Fortune breaks new ground by inviting both playwrights and artistic directors to explain their respective sides of the story, diagnosing a profound disconnect while suggesting possible ways forward." --Isaac Butler, writer/editor of Parabasis

About the participants:

TODD LONDON is in his fourteenth season as the artistic director of New Dramatists, the nation’s oldest center for the support and development of playwrights, where he has worked closely with more than a hundred of America’s finest playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. In 2009, he was the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s Visionary Leadership Award "for his work to advance the theatre field." A former managing editor of American Theatre magazine and the author of The Artistic Home, he has written, edited, and/or contributed to eleven books. London won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays in American Theatre and a Milestone Award for his first novel, The World’s Room. Under his leadership, New Dramatists received both a special Tony Honor and the Ross Wetzsteon Award from the Village Voice Obies. He currently serves on the faculty of Yale University School of Drama.

BEN PESNER has been writing about the theatre since 1987. Currently the manager of creative services at The Broadway League, he is also content producer of For the Tonys, he has scripted numerous special events, and edited the Tony Awards Songbook. A former editor of the Dramatists Guild Quarterly and literary manager of Young Playwrights Inc., his extensive involvement in the not-for-profit theatre community has included associations with Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Circle Rep, and Lincoln Center Theater, among others. He has authored and edited numerous publications for theatres, service organizations, and charitable foundations, and has written for American Theatre, Playbill, and other magazines.

VICTORIA BAILEY is executive director of Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the country. She was instrumental in the execution of TDF’s Playwrights Project, a comprehensive study of the lives of American playwrights and the production of new American Plays. The Project culminated in Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play written by Todd London with Ben Pesner and Zannie Giraud Voss, which was published in December 2009 and has stimulated national conversations about this critical issue.Prior to her appointment at TDF in 2001, she had a nearly 20-year association with the Manhattan Theatre Club, first as business manager, then as general manager. While at MTC, Ms. Bailey managed close to 200 plays, both on and Off Broadway

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND has played a unique role in strengthening live theatre and dance in New York City for the past 40 years. This not-for-profit service organization’s programs have filled over 76 million seats at discount prices (with theatre lovers who would normally not be able to attend live performance) and returned nearly 2 billion dollars in revenue to thousands of theatre, dance and music productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, voucher, access and education programs as well as its Costume Collection, help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone.

Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play
by Todd London with Ben Pesner and Zannie Giraud Voss
Published by Theatre Development Fund, 2009
Paper: $14.95

Please call the Drama Book Shop to order: 212 944-00595

Drama Book Shop
250 W 40th St
New York, New York 10018-1511


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