Hidden Vacancies

IMG_1708

The new issue of Interventions features my essay on the Coney Island Art Walls:

Hillary Miller’s ‘Hidden Vacancies’ traces a large-scale installation project that masks ‘the relations between real-estate and inequitable resource provision’.  In her analysis of Coney Island’s Art Walls, Miller conceives of the project as theatre (rather than, for example, visual public art), allowing her to frame the arc of a story of transformation, in which a powerful property developer is re-cast as a benevolent co-curator. As theatre, then, the Art Walls’ conditions of possibility – namely, the collaboration between curatorial and real estate redevelopment interests – are exposed.

Read the article at the Contemporary Theatre Review.

Advertisements

FRICK BOOK AWARD

drop-dead.jpgDrop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York has won the ATDS 2017 John W. Frick Book Award, which recognizes “outstanding works that expand and challenge the field of American theatre and drama.”

Gratitude is owed to the Frick Award selection committee of the American Theatre & Drama Society, as well as those without whom the book would not exist. This includes the team at Northwestern University Press, the Performance Works series editors Nicholas Ridout and Patrick Anderson, and editor Michael Levine.

4956004142_6a1ab6ffed_o
Coney Island, 1972 (image via flickr user fauxto_digit)

How To Fight for Arts Funding?

Former New York Post theatre critic Elisabeth Vincentelli recently reviewed my Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York in American Theatre. “How to Fight for Arts Funding? Lessons from NYC’s Lean Years” begins with this way:

“As we enter a period of uncertainty, to put it mildly, one of the areas most at risk is the federal funding of arts and culture. It’s no surprise to hear that the social conservatives and free-market extremists now in power are already making noises about implementing their long-held dream to eradicate the NEA and PBS.

What happens, then, when the faucet is turned off? What are the priorities, how do funds get allocated, and to whom?

Northwestern University Press, 288 pages, $34.95.
Northwestern University Press, 288 pages, $34.95.

Our current predicament makes Hillary Miller’s Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York an especially fascinating read.”

Read her full review at American Theatre.

Video: NYC Performance in the 1970s

On October 31, 2016, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center hosted “Theatre & Performance in the 1970s,” a launch for my book, Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern University Press). After an all-day screening, “Shorts from the Feminist Seventies” (curated by Shilyh Warren), the evening panel discussion was moderated by Executive Director Frank Hentschker, and featured playwrights, directors, and historians discussing the theatre artists and institutions of the 1970s. A remarkable group of participants joined me for this incredible event: historian Julia Foulkes (New School), playwright and novelist Jessica Hagedorn, director Muriel Miguel (Spiderwoman Theater), historian Cindy Rosenthal (Hofstra University), and playwright Richard Wesley. Thanks to HowlRound TV for live streaming the discussion, which is now available for viewing:

Oct. 31 Book Event + Screening + Discussion

Monday, October 31, 2016
The Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
6:30pm Discussion + 11:00am Screenings

Photo by Shalmon Bernstein

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

In the mid-1970s, many artists and organizations defied socially destructive policies and fought for the arts as a public good during New York City’s near-bankruptcy and resulting austerity. Scholar and playwright Hillary Miller’s book, Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern UP, 2016), combines theatre history with analyses of productions of the time to examine how the performing arts survived the crisis. Miller’s account includes Broadway (TKTS), BAM, La MaMa E.T.C., and The Public Theater, and highlights the important role of Martin E. Segal in shaping the City’s cultural policy for decades to come. A panel of playwrights, directors, and historians will join in conversation about the theatre artists and arts institutions of the 1970s, and the significance of its theatrical legacies in our contemporary city. Invited are Julia Foulkes; Jessica Hagedorn; Muriel Miguel, Spiderwoman Theater; Cindy Rosenthal; Richard Wesley; and others (TBD).

All-Day ScreeningShorts from the Feminist Seventies is a selection of 16mm documentaries made by women in the 1970s on topics ranging from marriage, sex, and reproductive health to labor, identity, and memory—all culled from the New York Public Library’s Reserve Film and Video Collection. Opening remarks by curator and film scholar Shilyh Warren, and invited guest Elena Rossi-Snook, Archivist, Reserve Film and Video Collection, The New York Public Library. Additional support from Third World Newsreel.

Visit the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center’s website for the full program information.

 

photo credit: Shalmon Bernstein