Theatre Is Not A Commodity, and this blog is not dead…not yet.

I have a new article online in the latest issue of Biweekly.pl. It’s about the “Teatr nie jest produktem…” protests that occurred during the March Warsaw Theatre Meetings, concurrently with the visits of a group of playwrights from USC.

Here’s the first paragraph:

In March, just before the spring 2012 Warszawskie Spotkania Teatralne (The Warsaw Theatre Meetings, hereafter referred to as the WST), a group of Polish theatre artists, critics and scholars organises a public letter of protest. They’re enraged by recent actions of the local government of Lower Silesia, the region including Wrocław, Legnica and Wałbrzych – specifically, a short-lived effort to institute a business manager who would be able to overrule decisions made by artistic directors of theatres. Some recent cuts to state funding for theatre are also a concern. The protest slogan: “Teatr nie jest firmą/nie jest produktem, widz nie jest klientem.” (The theatre is not a corporation or a commodity – spectators are not customers). “TEATR NIE JEST PRODUKTEM” buttons appear on the backpacks of the festival-goers.

You can read the whole thing here.

This article, which I didn’t write until a month or so after the events, is a good example of why I’ve been having such a hard time blogging lately. While these events were going on, it seemed to me that it might be a good idea to write a blog post about them–that people would want to hear about them. I didn’t do it.

But then, in talking with the Biweekly editor, the idea for this piece came up. As a result, I got to write something longer and better, with photos and with some very serious and helpful editing from Polish theatre experts, than I ever would have done over here. That was good.

But there are other equally interesting series of events that have taken place recently, that I’ve been part of, that I’ve never written anything about — blog or proper article. That’s not so good.

One thing I am doing is keeping an enormous Word document sort of journal, which I write in as if it was a blog, without publishing it online. Then when these articles come up, I can go back to it. It’s quite long now. I am hoping it will be long enough for something longer than an article in the future. (Recently, when I left my laptop in the Nowy Wspaniały Świat cafe, this document was what I was kicking myself the most for losing. I retrieved the laptop about an hour later.)