In the Culture of One World Randy Gener

A Global Media Project | Arts Economy, Cultural Diplomacy and Critical Thinking

THEATER TALK | House of Sweden hosts Swedish and American dialogue in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. | In association with the U.S. debut of Backa Theatre of Sweden at the Nordic Cool 2013 Festival at the Kennedy Center in D.C., the Embassy of Sweden invites you to a seminar about the growing genre of documentary theater on March 11, 2013 between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon in House of Sweden. The seminar is entitled: “Can documentary theater attract new groups of audiences?” A Swedish and American dialogue.”

Artistic Director of Backa theatre, Mattias Andersson who specializes in creating and staging theatrical projects grounded in sociological research methods will discuss this hot topic with Robert McNamara, artistic director of SCENA theatre and Otis Ramsey-Zöe, Lecturer of Theatre Arts at Howard University.

Randy Gener, who will moderate the talk, observes in American Theatre Magazine that “in Sweden theatrical works geared for young people are viewed not just as equal to adult-oriented theatre but in many cases as surpassingly livelier. Documentary innovations and experimentations in dramaturgy—strong themes (such as divorce, death, politics), bolder forms, openness to outside influences—have made it possible for youth-oriented dramas to shatter conventions and overturn orthodoxies in liberating ways…”

REGISTER HERE

Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

PROGRAM

10:00 am
Welcome by Cultural Counselor Kristina Rennerstedt and introduction of the moderator Randy Gener.

10:05 am
Introduction of director Mattias Andersson followed by introductory remarks with examples from Backa productions

10:35 am
Introduction of Otis Ramsey-Zöe followed by remarks

10:50 am
Introduction of Robert McNamara followed by remarks

11:05 am
Panel discussion with audience participation

12:00 am
Seminar ends

REGISTER HERE

House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

Mattias Andersson, artistic director of Backa Teater, playwright and actor.

Backa Teater was formed in 1978 and the performances are geared toward children and youth. In 1997 Backa Theatre was the first theatre to be promoted as a national stage for children’s theatre for three years by the Swedish government. At Backa, Andersson has specialized in creating and staging theatrical projects grounded in sociological research methods. Examples include The Mental States of Gothenburg, about the lives and dreams of young people; The Gangs of Gothenburg, based largely on interviews with Göteborg’s criminal elements; and an adaptation of Crime and Punishment (part of a three-play project involving the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel), in which Andersson placed the Russian novel in modern times and in a setting that could just as easily have been Göteborg as St. Petersburg. Andersson’s own plays have been performed at Stockholm City Theatre, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Stockholm, Göteborg City Theatre, Malmö Dramatic Theatre and in Norway, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Romania and Serbia.

Mattias Andersson, Swedish playwright/director of Backa theater of Sweden | Photo by Ola Kjelbye

Mattias Andersson, Swedish playwright/director of Backa theater of Sweden | Photo by Ola Kjelbye

Randy Gener is a George Jean Nathan Award-winning editor, writer and artist based in New York. He is the USA Editor of Critical Stages, an international journal; founder/editor of the media project In the Theater of One World; contributor to National Public Radio; freelance critic for Variety, and dramaturg of “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera.” Co-editor of “The American Theatre Reader,” Gener is the curatorial producer of the USITT/USA National Exposition, “From the Edge: Performance Design in the Divided States of America,” an exhibition of political U.S. theater at the Prague Quadrennial. In addition to the Nathan Award, Gener is the recipient of numerous awards; and NLGJA Journalist of the Year — all of it for his editorial work and critical essays for American Theatre magazine. Gener is presently at work on the first English-language book survey of the plays of the Swedish dramatist Lars Noren.

Otis Ramsey-Zöe is a Lecturer of Theatre Arts at Howard University, Future Classics Program Coordinator at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Series Editor for NoPassport Press’s Dreaming the Americas Series, a freelance dramaturg, and a Company Member of banished? productions. He has developed new works with such organizations as The Sundance Institute, Kennedy Center, Theatre J, Arena Stage and CENTERSTAGE.

Robert McNamara is the Artistic Director and Co-founder of Scena Theatre and is now directing his 25th season in the U.S. and abroad. Scena Theatre is driven to bring the best international theatre to Washington, D.C. and to stimulate cultural exchange between local and global artists. Founded in 1987, Scena produces an annual season of plays, seasonal readings and a workshop series to develop new works. Recent productions include “A Clockwork Orange,” “Mein Kampf,” and “Hedda Gabler,” among others. Scena has produced six Washington International Theatre Festivals that include works by Per Olov Enquist (“The Hour of the Lynx”), Cecilie Loveid (“The Ice Goes Out” and “Seagull Eaters”), Suzanne Broegger (“After the Orgy” and “Dark”) and the U.S. premiere of “Julie” from Strindberg’s “Miss Julie.”

"Little King Mattias" from Backa theater of Sweden | Photo by Ola Kjelbye

“Little King Mattias” from Backa theater of Sweden | Photo by Ola Kjelbye

About Randy Gener

Randy Gener is the Nathan Award-winning editor, writer, critic, playwright and visual artist in New York City. He is the author of the plays "Love Seats for Virginia Woolf," "Wait for Me at the Bottom of the Pool," "A Parliament of the Streets," and others. His conceptual installation, "In the Garden of One World" (designed by Nic Ularu), debuted in 2008 at La MaMa La Galleria in New York. He is a renowned lecturer and speaker in the arts and technology, appearing at such schools as the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center-Graduate Center, City University of New York, Montclair State University, University of South Carolina, Brooklyn College; U.S. and European festivals as Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Prague Quadrennial for World Scenography, William Inge Theatre Festival, Humana Festival of New American Plays; as well as such institutions as Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Hallmark Inc., Dramatists Guild of America, Odeon Theatre of Bucharest, Romanian Cultural Institute-New York, Long Wharf Theater Company, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and La MaMa E.T.C.

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Categories

“From the Edge: Performance Design in the Divided States of America” at LaMaMa La Galleria

On Smart Power, International Cultural Exchange and Performance Design | An Interview by Amanda White Thietje

3 Interviews by AMANDA WHITE THIETJE:
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RANDY GENER and I met in Prague this summer, where we were both attending the 2011 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ). I was wandering through the exhibits, soaking up the inspiration and the beauty of the city; he was serving as both curatorial advisor of "From the Edge" (USITT’s USA National Pavilion) and Editor-In-Chief of this year’s PQ daily newspaper.
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Randy agreed to talk with me about the PQ, and there’s so much in this interview I want to share with you that I’m going to post it in three parts. Click on the titles of each article below so you can read each part of the interview:
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  • Interview – Part 1: "From the Edge"
  • Interview – Part 2: "Active Searching & The Value of the Prague Quadrennial"
  • Interview – Part 3: "A Ripple Effect."
  • -

    “From the Edge: Performance Design in the Divided States of America,” the USA national pavilion at Prague National Gallery

    From the Edge: Performance Design in the Divided States of America

    Reflections on curating and creating national expositions in an international art-based mega-exhibition in Prague
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  • Curatorial essay: "Exhibiting a country on the edge: a U.S. approach to performance design"
  • USA exposition returns from Prague: "American performing garage under the sign of Obama"
  • Prague diaries: "Philadelphia theater-makers talk about how performance design affected their works and processes."
  • Interview with curators: "Curators speak about the thrills, challenges and obstacles of staging national expositions of design."
  • -

    Praise and Commendations

    >> "A first-rate writer and editor. Randy Gener understands culture in the widest sense: as news, as art, as politics, as media," Margo Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer.
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    >> "Mr. Randy Gener’s 'in the theater of One World,' a showcase of his own individual work, is taking up the slack that print journalism is leaving behind. You won’t find this in your local papers," Superfluities Redux.
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    >> "The visionary," Instinct Magazine.
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    >> "An internationalist, a champion of cultural exchange and dialogue," The New York Daily News.
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    >> "Randy Gener's command of theatrical subjects is unequalled among his contemporaries," American Theatre magazine/Theatre Communications Group.
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    >> "Randy Gener sheds light into censorship and repression of the arts," Judges of the Deadline Club Award, New York chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.
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    >> "Randy Gener is one of the most compelling voices of our era of globalization," Ioana Ieronim, author, poet and Fulbright Program Director of Fulbright Commission Romania.
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    >> "Gener draws our attention to largely ignored voices and visions on the international theatrical scene," Judges of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.
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    >> "Mr. Gener holds himself to a high standard in his long-form journalism — perhaps a model for young journalists," Superfluities Redux.
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    >> "Gener’s writing on theater, especially as it interacts with LGBT lives, is beautifully done, knowledgeable and almost lyrical in its language,” Judges of NLGJA Journalist of the Year.
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    >> "Randy Gener demonstrates the ripple effect that spotlighting artistic passion can have," Judges of the Deadline Club Award, New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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    >> "Randy Gener's 'Love Seats for Virginia Woolf' is a meditative homage. Gener has staged his play with a subtle grace that complements the art objects' sedentary ingenuity. Never has Virginia's room of one's own been so suggestively furnished,” The Village Voice
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    >> "Gener's accumulation of words in his play 'Love Seats for Virginia Woolf' are the feathery evanescence of the butterfly's wings clamped together with the bolts of iron that are the four loveseat sculptures. The actors become words personified. I was left astonished,” The Virginia Woolf Miscellany of the International Virginia Woolf Society.
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    >> "His essays wed critical intelligence with a love of the telling and unruly fact," Judges of George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.
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    >> "Gener went above and beyond with regard to enterprise, resourcefulness and overcoming of obstacles in the pursuit of the story," Judges of Deadline Club Award, New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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    >> "Randy Gener has been a tremendous asset to American Theatre ever since he was selected as a Jerome Foundation Affiliated Writer back in 1995-96, and especially since he joined the staff full-time in 2001," American Theatre magazine/Theatre Communications Group.
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    >> "One of the leaders of the Asian American community," The New York Daily News.
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    >> "In conferring the Pamana ng Pilipino (Legacy of the Filipino Nation) Presidential Award to Randy Gener, the President recognizes Gener's excellence in the field of theater arts and creativity, and diligence in promoting Filipino-American interests and accomplishments to mainstream audiences in Europe and the United States of America," His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines.
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    Biography

    Randy Gener is the Nathan Award-winning editor, writer, critic, curator, playwright and visual artist in New York City.
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    His conceptual installation, "in the garden of One World," debuted at La MaMa La Galleria in New York. He is the author of "Love Seats for Virginia Woolf," and other plays.
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    For his editorial work and critical essays as the senior editor of American Theatre magazine, Gener has received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the highest accolade for excellence in dramatic criticism in the United States; the Deadline Club Award for Best Arts Reporting from the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; five media awards for excellence in travel-writing from the annual North American Travel Journalists Association Awards competition; and the NLGJA Journalist of the Year 2010.

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    by randy gener

    randy gener pictured at columbus circle in manhattan

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