UpstageProject

The UpstateProject retreat

began officially last night, at the Cayuga Street location of Gimme! Coffee in Ithaca. Amina had copies of the bylaws and the responses of the rest of the Editorial Board to that first draft, and we revised them. We worked on paper (which is such a satisfying way to edit) and we wore name tags that said “Hello, my name is Dave Julavits” and “Hello, my name is Heidi Eggers,” in respectful homage to MIGHT, MCSWEENEY’S, and especially THE BELIEVER.

I have been dreading this task ever since I sent out the first draft of said bylaws, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. I couldn’t have done it without Amina. We got through it in less than an hour. Drafting a “Procedures” document will be more complicated.

UpstageProject.com, when launched, is something I’ve wanted to get going ever since seeing Bookslut on the Internet and wondering why there was nothing like that for theater We’re trying to put together an ambitious website for theater opinion and blogging, with a group of editors – with room for articles, longer reviews, commentary, and analysis.

It’s going to grow organically – we want to take time to set up a good structure for it, and we want to establish a group of people who feel collective responsibility. There’s no lead editor. Decisions are made unanimously.

How on earth have I gotten to this point in my life without starting a magazine? I hope I can learn from whatever mistakes I made in starting theater companies. I don’t want to start any more founder-driven organizations where responsibility falls to one person. I think one of the reasons that the Convergence retreat went so well last week, and that work on it continues to go well (Caitlin and Robert are having lots of meetings) is that it was collective work.

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