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Featured Contributors, Sept. 2019

A defense of artists who support themselves with day jobs, and a look at JoAnne Akalaitis’s new Greek-messenger play.

Kari Bentley-Quinn. (Photo by Jody Christopherson)

Among the features in this issue is playwright Kari Bentley-Quinn’s piece about balancing a day job and making theatre. Bentley-Quinn, co-founder of Mission to (dit)Mars, a theatre company focused on new-play development in Queens, N.Y., writes plays full-time while holding down a day job. She says she “wanted to reflect my experience in the hopes it could help someone in a similar position,” adding, “I am so grateful to all the playwrights I interviewed for their time, candor, and generosity. I hope that this sparks an ongoing conversation and brings forth more transparency when we talk about how artists can support themselves, and what we can all do to be more supportive of each other going forward.”

 

Erin B. Mee. (Leila Satyanath-Mee)

Erin B. Mee, artistic director of the site-specific troupe This Is Not a Theatre Company and a scholar of contemporary Indian theatre, says she was thrilled to write about Bad News! i was there…, the new theatre work from JoAnne Akalaitis. Mee notes she grew up seeing the director’s work, then sat in on Akalaitis’s rehearsals for shows at American Repertory Theater and assisted her on The Screens at the Guthrie Theater (1989). “It has been fascinating to hear how her theatrical vision and process have evolved,” says Mee. “She has always been passionate about creating community both backstage and in the theatre; interested in placing personal stories in political context; and in using ‘homemade’ elements—such as flashlights—in the design. In Bad News! JoAnne mobilizes these passions in new ways.”

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