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Featured Contributors, Nov. 2018

A piece on theatremaking while parenting, and one on intimacy direction, both fit the month’s Best Practices theme.

Caroline Macon.

Chicago-based playwright/essayist Caroline Macon said she wanted to write a story about work/life balance for parent artists because, as the mother of a one-year-old, she’s “already been exhausted by the amount of change in accommodations I need to bring him to work,” from sling to car seat and beyond. In her personal but eminently practical piece, which fits this issue’s Best Practices theme, she addresses some of the assumptions and prejudices that she and others face as theatre parents, as well as reports on ways they’re overcoming them, both individually and collectively. Of her own journey, she quips, “If this has only been a few months, I am in for a ride of being career mom.”

Carey Purcell. (Photo by Tom Bloom)

As the #MeToo movement gained momentum over the past year, New York City-based journalist Carey Purcell says she got interested in “how people in the theatre community were empowering themselves. I heard stories about abuses of power, and I was very moved by survivors’ determination to improve the industry.” One potentially overlooked front in the battle, she realized, is the rehearsal room, especially in cases where directors and actors stage sex scenes and scenes of gendered violence. Purcell’s curiosity led her to profile Intimacy Directors International, a nonprofit that sets out “to establish a systematic approach to staging intimate scenes” and train others in the practice. “Being able to highlight the work of IDI, especially in today’s culture, gave me some hope.”

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