Commentary: In search of the new

  • Article by: By ROHAN PRESTON and GRAYDON ROYCE
  • Updated: May 2, 2011 - 11:40 AM

The Guthrie Theater's slate of plays for 2011-12 seems to reflect doubt and conflict about its vision of itself.

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theaterfanMay. 2, 1111:15 AM

In one sentence, Preston and Royce bellttle CHARLEY'S AUNT, dismissing it as fare for the likes of TRP. Later, they describe Seamus Heaney’s THE BURIAL AT THEBES in glowing terms, suggesting this at last is proper material for the Guthrie. Fact is, a glance at TRP’s website shows they’ve never produced CHARLEY'S AUNT in nearly sixty years of operation, while BURIAL AT THEBES was one of their offerings early last year. Seems to me that Preston and Royce’s preaching about what each theater should and shouldn’t produce suggests inflated egos out of balance with their grasp of the facts.

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buster651May. 3, 11 4:20 PM

I agree with theaterfan's implied assertion of snobbery lurking in the opening paragraph. In addition to the TRP/Thebes observation, didn't a previous Goodman season include an adaptation of the Marx Brothers' Animal Crackers? Didn't Lincoln Center just produce Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown... on Broadway? How populist are those choices? On second thought, perhaps it's a more a sin of rush to judgment or hasty generalization than snobbery. On the other hand, I appreciate the general questions and observations raised in the article.

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