Facebook friends will vouch for the fact that we haven’t been quiet (and by “we,” we mean the royal) but blog readers have been spared the daily status updates — The White House Hannukah Party dialogue with POTUS and TFL (too cloying for blog fodder, we figured) — or the more sensitive info that we weren’t sure how to share — like our search for a new Managing Director. That search left us scrambling these past 3 three weeks, even as we bid a poignant and deeply appreciative adieu to outgoing MD Patricia Jenson, who begins her new role as Director of Development at the Washington Ballet on Monday. We should have posted a whole electronic farewell to our wonderful Patricia after 7 and a half years of dedicated service, but that somehow wound up getting divided between Facebook and several real-life events, like the standing ovation she received from the Theater J Council at our December meeting, or the standing ovation she received during the curtain speech at the opening of OY, VEY IN A MANGER (which closes tomorrow night). Patricia received a bounty of gifts from the staff that adores her and will miss her muchly (note that at our second White House holiday event, standing in line right behind Septime Weber of The Washington Ballet, as the subject turned to Patricia he said “Thank you. And I’m sorry!”), and we’ll all confess to some anxiety as we looked into the coming weeks and months of programming without an Office Chief of Staff to help us navigate the always roiling waves of commotion that our active programming stirs up… but then something wonderful unfolded during the amazingly productive December that just passed; in addition to hosting a bonafide hit, we restructured our office and conducted an incredibly satisfying, stimulating national search for the Managing Director position. We’ll unveil the office upgrades — the new titles — and our new selection at the beginning of next week. But it now seems to me that this precisely has been the reason for the lack of blogging activity in December — we’ve been hunkering down with a lot of internal conversations and an exhaustive, intensive search. And with lots of good news soon to report, we’re making the commitment to return to the discipline of documenting the conversations that will be swirling about the new work we’re presenting.
Because there’s an incredible amount of important programming coming up in January and February — our Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival specifically — and I’m making this first new year’s resolution to ensure that this blog site is busy, with postings coming from responders young and old — students and professionals — offering thoughts about the mainstage production and festival performance and reading work we’re soon to unveil. And the connections between these 10 different works and what they all have to say about this year’s festival theme, “Portraits of Home.”
So that’s the commitment. Stay tuned!
As we leave you with this question: Why is that comments come so much more plentifully, and regularly on Facebook, while this blog stays so very staid and, dare we say, unaffirming? Perhaps herein lies the genius of FB – and it’s all chronicled in the Aaron Sorking work of factual-fiction, THE SOCIAL NETWORK: that “like” button allows for an immediate expression of affirmation that keeps an electronic conversation going. Especially if that conversation involves an element of daily diary chronicling — we share because we invite response — we seek response, don’t we? — affirmation or “liking us” being but one kind of sought-after affect.
Ah well, tis no big deal. And we’ve asked for responses before. And then controversies have gone viral — and we’ve had no shortage of responses, though not generally the affirming kind. So we recognize the roiling waters once again for being what they are — open seas with mysterious fates awaiting our work.
Happy New Year, friends. As we look forward to the final 4 performances of the fabulous KINSEY SICKS and then our hosting of a historic residency of 18 days duration from the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv. Stay tuned for the official unveiling of the first video on the making of RETURN TO HAIFA. That’s what’s next!