FROM TC: I'm taking off the next few days for the July 4th holiday weekend.
You've Cott Mail will return to your inbox on Tuesday, July 5.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."
· Commentary: Women on the verge of disappearing from the [Broadway] stage
Charles Isherwood, The New York Times, 6/9/11
While the Broadway season was a bountiful one in many ways...it was pretty thin on significant leading roles for women. That's not particularly surprising when you scan the list of new musicals and absorb how many of them didn't have any role at all for a leading lady.
· Commentary: Survey says... women playwrights aren't getting produced
Enci, Bitter Lemons LA blog, 6/16/11
No plays by women were produced on Broadway during the 2010/11 season. [Anda] study by the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative revealed that only one in five plays seen on LA-area stages was written, or co-written, by a woman. The figure of 20% is roughly in keeping with similar studies on gender parity -- which put the national percentage of works by women on and off-Broadway and in regional theaters at approximately 17%. To quote playwright Marsha Norman, "A theater that is missing the work of women is missing half the story, half the canon, half the life of our time. That is the situation we have now."
· Commentary: Women are also missing from U.S. films this summer
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, 6/9/11
If you're a woman who roared, snorted or sniggered at "Bridesmaids," if you like watching other women on screen, you should see it again. Because that hit comedy written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, turns out to be one of the few occasions this summer when you can enjoy a movie about and with women released by a major studio.
"...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."
· Commentary: How rigidly should artists defend their copyright?
Andrew Taylor, The Artful Manager blog, 6/7/11
It's a reasonable assumption that theft equals loss of income. After all, if somebody has stolen the thing you're selling, why would they turn around a buy it? But there's an increasingly contentious debate on that assumption. As arts and culture struggle with copyright protection and theft, it will be a rather essential issue to understand the implications with some nuance. Some artists, like author Neil Gaiman [watch a video interview here], have already changed their minds about rigidly defending their copyright. Others are wondering how much effort the battle is worth.
· Commentary: Why theaters ban photography, even before show begins
Gordon Firemark on his law firm's blog, 6/27/11
If you've been to the theatre recently, you may have noticed ushers admonishing patrons against taking pictures, even before the show begins. In this article, several explanations are offered. Mostly, it seems, concerns about designers' intellectual property are behind the rules, but there may also be safety concerns. As a lawyer, I've often been asked what actions can be taken against patrons in violation of these rules. In most instances, the patron [can] be asked to leave and destroy the images. If he or she remains against the will of the theatre, he or she is trespassing, and can be arrested. Destruction of the images, however, is a more troubling issue. An usher who 'confiscates' a patron's camera or smartphone may actually be comitting a more serious crime: Robbery, and perhaps Assault.
"...that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
· Commentary: A simple outcome of visitor participation: delight
Nina Simon, Museum 2.0 blog, 6/29/11
I've spent years advocating for visitor participation for all kinds of reasons. Visitor contributions help participants feel connected to institutions. It can provide valuable information for the staff to do their jobs better. It helps institutions leverage the skills and creativity of their communities. Now that I'm on staff at a museum, I've (re)discovered a more pedestrian value of visitor participation: it's delightful. Every day when I walk by our visitor comment board, I feel like I'm getting little gifts from visitors. I think on some level, we've always known that these handwritten notes, drawings, and missives are charming. Some institutions have even banked on that charm to create compelling ad campaigns featuring visitors' comments. "Be charming and delightful" isn't one of the bottom-line goals of most museums. But maybe it should be. [T]hese are tough times for people working in the arts. I figure we need all the delight we can get.