11 December, 2007

All the Views Fit to Print?

Jon Robin Baitz, Huffington Post:

"Yesterday, Charles Isherwood, one of the two main theatre critics at the New York Times, published an interesting essay about how it was time for playwrights who have abandoned the New York theatre for TV to come back to the form they love, and write a play during the Writers Guild strike. Of course, one would have to be insane to disagree with this admirable exhortation, but, sadly, the source of the sentiments has - with all due respect - the merest hint of a credibility problem. I am able to say this without fear of it being written off as sour grapes, because generally he has been respectful of my work, even when critical. The same applies to Mr. Brantley, his fellow reviewer.

In his first paragraph, the following words stand out: "for all those writers lying on the couch in Hollywood perfecting their video-game scores, or weeding the backyards of their Laurel Canyon haciendas." He goes on to challenge them to name the author of a bit of dialogue from a certain classic American play. His supposition about what the writers are doing is faulty. They are on the picket lines. Many, who are currently unemployed, including a number of playwrights, are figuring out what to do about mortgages. "

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