Who Would Have Imagined? Imagining Madoff in the News

Shirley here.

As Summer 2010 wraps up I’ll share some final reflections (for now at least) on the phenomenon that was “the Madoff story”. Or “that Wiesel situation”. Or the “wait a minute, what happened with that play you were going to do and then couldn’t do and why was there a cover story in the City Paper all about it” incident.

During my two years here at Theater J we’ve been involved in our fair share of mediafeeding controversies. You’d think that I’d be used to it by now. But I’m still always a bit surprised when the press picks up a story and runs with it. The purist in me wishes that the work itself got this much ink. But alas, the play, is not always, “the thing”.

Worth noting: a google search of “Imagining Madoff” (with quotes) brings up 17,600 results. Oh my.

Easier to do a google news search of the play’s title.

These are many of the articles that have come up on our radar—but by no means all of them. And for the record, I’m looking at this entry to be a shake down on the writing that is out there surrounding this incident, not my own version or opinions about the matter. If you want to hear that, ask me in person. I’d be happy to share. So:

Our own Washington City Paper has been very committed to following this story; critic Ted Scheinman even travelled up to Hudson, NY to see the production at Stageworks Hudson.

Terry Teachout, Theater Critic and Arts Journalist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote about First Amendment relevance in this whole debate.

The blog “The Clyde Fitch Report” has followed events quite closely, and now brings us the story of another celebrity flip out regarding semi-biographical depictions. He’s also our best bet at wrapping this whole thing up into its very own piece of art. Let me know if you need casting ideas for the hard-working yet fun-loving Literary Manager character, okay Mr. Jacobs? Wait, what—the Literary Manager has been folded into an ensemble member swing whose track includes “Washington City Paper Intern”, “Literary Agent Admin Assistant” and “Combined Theater J Staff Member”? Sheesh.

And of course, there was the New York Times article; an NPR story from ALL THINGS CONSIDERED; and the scoop first and foremost from Jane Horwitz of the Washington Post.

Now, for every one of these write-ups there are several other blog entries out there talking about the press coverage itself, so if you want to read more–keep roaming them internets.

But we’ve got a season to launch. Here’s to good plays and good discussions in the new year.


2 thoughts on “Who Would Have Imagined? Imagining Madoff in the News

  1. purty brilliant – couldn’t agree more with your last sentence
    but actually, I’m eager to hear YOUR OWN assessment of the grand meanings of what transpired — and what wants to happen next.
    Maybe I’ll just ask you!

  2. Hi,
    I can’t believe I missed all this, quite the drama in the midst of putting drama on stage. It is too bad that the theater didn’t get a chance to put it on. I can certainly understand the playwright not feeling right about revising the play, she shouldnt’ have to compromise her craft that way, simply to spare the discomfort of yes, even a humanitarian, and holocaust survivor. It is too bad that it sounds like it is still the case at the theater that is putting it on. It just all doesnt’ sit right with me.
    Still, I have to admit, it was interesting that so many folks picked it up and went with it. I suppose we live in a society where folks feel they must have their say (I suppose my note here falls into that framework)

    I am really looking forward to seeing the show that does open this weekend.
    See you there!

    Cheers, Jessica

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