The rumors are true, kiddos. I am letting go of News and Notes soon. After more than four years of this, I have burned through just about all the insightful/half-assed opinion one could possibly be expected to have on the world of theater. It's time for someone new to take up the mantle, and I'm here to tell you something very important about that someone: it could be you.
Remember last week on News and Notes when we again talked about the problems of discrimination and harassment backstage at the Guthrie? Of course you do. I saw a great number of you out there on the internets talking about the exact same thing and making very salient points about it, including making fun of the Star Tribune's reductive use of "Backstage Drama" in its headline. I was going to make fun of that, but you've already done it for me. You could be getting paid to do that!
There's going to be plenty of call for writing on that particular subject, considering that I've already had to do it several times, and I am running out of things to say besides, "AAAAAGH!" I need someone with a fresh vocabulary to take this project over, and I know you can do it. I've read your Facebook feed. You know lots of words.
You don't have to talk about bad things all the time, either. Believe it or not, good things happen all the time! The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis just got a huge grant that could get even more huge. The NorShor Theatre in Duluth is coming along nicely in its remodel and will soon be born anew in glorious art deco decor. I know that you are able to appreciate these nice developments, because I just saw your face brighten a bit when you read those things. By the way, you should really cover that camera on your little internet device.
Even when it comes to dealing with news stories that can be sad or complicated or tied up in much larger trends, I know that you would have something smart and maybe even witty to say about them. Whether it's a local issue, like the final closure of Patrick's Cabaret, a regional issue like Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss being dropped from her paper after many, many accusations of racism and sexism in her theater coverage, or a national issue like Chris Jones' dissection of why big awards shows are dissolving in the acid bath that is modern social media, I know that you have big, bright, beautiful, truth-bombing thoughts about them.
I know this because this experimental thought-reading device that I pried out of the hands of a dying deep-cover agent in the middle of a cold, dark night in Prague is really doing its job well. Those thoughts don't have to remain the surreptitious readings of a single individual growing drunk with the power of a strange new device that he alone now commands. You could be a paid columnist dishing them out every week!
And you know how I often end my columns with the dumbest article I can find that week? For example this week I have chosen a piece from the Washington Post that cheekily instructs you one how to be the worst audience member ever. You could be the one deciding which stupid story to end on. Or you could decide to not do that. You could end this edition of News and Notes any way you want to. I know that you're very excited about this prospect, and that's definitely not because I'm standing right behind you right now watching you read this. Nope. That's not happening. Don't bother looking behind you.
All you have to do is send a cover letter and a couple of writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org, and, yes, it could be you.