Thursday, May 08, 2008

A solo show

Several months ago, I asked Mary B if she would join me as a fellow instigator of conversation about Richmond theater on this blog. She was willing and daring enough to come on board and has since added a great deal to the conversation, spurring some of the most interesting -- not to mention most heated -- exchanges that have ever occurred on these virtual pages.

Even though I have enjoyed the energy and perspective Mary brought to the table, our team-up has led to some complications and misperceptions. Since we are the two Style Weekly theater reviewers, this space has the appearance of being Style's official online theater outlet, though that is not the case. Some people have asked me if I endorse, sanction, or edit what Mary writes, and I expect she has received similar questions about what I write. Some people still refer to this as "David Timberline's blog," though in some people's minds it is "Style's theater blog" and others know it as "Dave's and Mary's blog." Though not a huge deal, these and other kinds of complications were enough to diminish the fun involved in this whole venture for me.

So, as part of trying to simplify my life, I've talked to Mary about returning this blog to a solo show and, as she was many months ago, she was willing and gracious in her response. I believe she will be posting at least one more time with some thoughts of her own on this whole experiment, but after that and going forward, this will go back to being "David Timberline's blog," pure and simple.  I will miss Mary's posts but hope she will be willing to chime in with her perspectives when she has the time and inclination. You may have agreed or disagreed with some of the things Mary has said, but there is no denying her abiding interest, love, and support of local theater.

As for the new readers who Mary brought to the site, I hope you'll stay around, read and participate going forward as well. I can't promise things won't return to the "annoying love fest" of the pre-Mary times on this blog, but I'll continue to do what I can to keep things lively. Thanks for everything, Mary!


Anonymous said...

Hopefully you encouraged her to create her own blog? The more the merrier.

Frank Creasy said...

An unfortunate side effect of our overly politically correct, hyper-sensitive American culture is the slow death of respectful candor in dialogue. An exchange of ideas with a willingness to listen is bludgeoned either by a fear of offending or, at the other end of the spectrum, a tendency to shout down the opposing thought.

We often read more into others' comments than we should rather than accept them at face value - always looking for the hidden agenda. Personally I never saw anything beyond this experiment than to include another voice, another opinion; theatre reviews and theatre commentary in local publications is severely limited, and so much of us want more. Sad to know that you must restrict that, Dave, due to misperceptions, and yet sadder still to know those wrong minded ideas are so very prevalent that you must exercise such caution.

I look forward to more spirited discussions herein on our theatre scene, and glad to know Mary will still be in our community to help promote Richmond's artistic growth.

Dave T said...

As always, I appreciate your comments, Frank, though I think you've read something into this change that I did not intend. The issues are more administrative than cultural or interpersonal. As I said, people perceived this as Style's blog -- an understandable perception given the authors. But for it to really be Style's blog, it would need to dovetail with Style's hard-copy presense. I have been kinda-sorta trying to do this -- holding off on significant commentary on a show for instance until a review showed up in Style, for instance. But to really do it, I would need to be a little more deligent than I am willing to be, becoming more of an editor rather than just a blogger, and also be sensitive to issues that I don't have ultimate control over, like when a review shows up in print. I still plan to be senstive to the potential conflicts between my online contributions and the stuff that shows up in Style, but having to be solely accountable versus severally accountable (to use the legal term) is much easier in terms of the very limited time I have to devote to this blog.

And Anon, I did encourage Mary to set up her own site if she wanted to and, if she chooses to do so, I'll put a link to it here.