Monday, June 23, 2008

You go away for a couple of weeks...

And Marty Bragg resigns as artistic producer of CanStage aka Canadian Stage. My guess is that soon after he is gone, Toronto theatre will miss having ol' Bragg to kick around. That's been a popular sport at least since he moved George F Walker's Heaven from the Bluma to the smaller Berkeley in 2000. (Coincidentally or not, Walker hasn't written a new work for the stage since...)

Other playwrights who have beefed with him publicly recently include Joanna McClelland Glass, Colleen Murphy and Brad Fraser. The critics have had it out for him since Hair with at least one calling for his resignation. Then there was the My Name is Rachel Corrie debacle and then the mistake of hiring David Storch as "artistic director" but not letting him artistically direct... It's been piling up.

You can't really call seventeen years with an organisation a capitulation, however. Bragg is one of charismatic presences in Toronto theatre and a real survivor. Perhaps later on we'll think more fondly of his successes... My main desire is that CanStage go (back?) to the more traditional arrangement of general manager and artistic director. Artistic producer has always like seemed like an oxymoron to me.

ANIMUS UPDATE: Looks like we can transfer any kicks towards the very alive horse Luminato. Mike Wheeler has an entertaining and incisive rant going after the festival run by the politically well-connected here: "[T]his is bad strategy. It’s the same kind of Lastman-era flawed logic that got us a basketball team named The Raptors and the notion that somehow we can buy a world class city instead of building one." Word, though I am grateful to any festival that brings us the likes of Black Watch and Tim Supple's A Midsummer Night's Dream...

3 comments:

mike said...

Thanks for the link Kelly. The Lumi-not-go post was part of a challenge put to me to write four posts after spending the past year being a smartass from the comments section.

My final piece comes out next week. It's called, "How I would spend Luminato's $21.5 Million." Among other things it addresses how BlackWatch and Midsummer can be incredible shows and the festival can still be a terrible waste of our resources.

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued to read that Marty Bragg might consider going back into acting. I wonder if anyone would like to suggest roles or plays they'd like to see him tackle.

Philip Akin said...

Artistic producer can either be hubris or necessity. I mean you get to take two hugely different and vast jobs and pile them on one shoulder. Of course Robin Philips preferred the title Director-General. I have been an Administrative Producer {how is that for larding the lilly} and now I am the Artistic Administrative Producing Director.

sigh {the latter was hyperbole almost}