Let it be known that New York Theatre Workshop has finally made true on their post-"Rachel Corrie" promise to program an Arab-American play. Their 2007-2008 season, Betty Shamieh's "The Black Eyed," opening this summer. The play "depicts four Arab women from across the ages who meet in the afterlife. As these women — who include the Biblical Delilah and a secular modern Arab-American — struggle to come to terms with their lives and their choices, this shockingly funny play skewers traditional views on sex, family, and terrorism."
Seriously, good for them. And I look forward to checking out Shamieh's work.
In other news, if Samuel Beckett balked at Joanne Akalaitis's infamous Endgame twenty years ago, good thing he's not alive to see what she'll get up to with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Philip Glass in the evening of one-acts they're planning for the fall. (Act Without Words, Eh Joe and Rough For Theatre I and II)
And, lastly--see photo.
What's up with this??? An anonymous one-million dollar donation, $2.5 mil in NYC capital funds, and a fancy architect are making this happen. A second space, you say, for even more of that emerging and challenging NYTW work?
Try a new scene and costume shop.
I mean, yeah, shop and storage space are crucial. And expensive. I'm sure they had appallingly little in their current digs. And it's a good use for the building acquisition. But is fixing it up like this really necessary?
I recall the beleaguered words of Eduardo Machado a while ago:
I decided that to raise 8 million dollars to build a theater had nothing to do with survival. A theater with a million dollar budget does not need a 500 thousand dollar flexible floor and it most definitely does not need to be in the basement of a Luxury Condominium.With so little money for the arts going around, let's just hope it's going to the most urgent uses.