The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2014-2015 Season:
Amadeus
Next to Normal
It's A Wonderful Life
One Night in Miami
Herzog Rep
After the Revolution
4000 Miles
Marley
Play Labs

The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.

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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

~Mark Twain, reflecting on Henrik Ibsen/Arthur Miller An Enemy of the People. Well, not really, but could have been. #CSEnemy

clemens



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As Enemy of the People finishes 1st weekend, so great that audiences are responding strongly to these (among others) divergent and sometimes competing strains in national discourse and cultural aspiration, as highlighted in the play and our efforts to frame the conversation.

As Enemy of the People finishes 1st weekend, so great that audiences are responding strongly to these (among others) divergent and sometimes competing strains in national discourse and cultural aspiration, as highlighted in the play and our efforts to frame the conversation.



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Editorial cartoon reviews Nixon-Kennedy debate of 1960 (conceptual backdrop for upcoming production of #ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at CENTERSTAGE).

Editorial cartoon reviews Nixon-Kennedy debate of 1960 (conceptual backdrop for upcoming production of #ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at CENTERSTAGE).



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Man goes out to fight for the truth should never wear his best pants. a little political advice from Henrik and Arthur


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…the new government has adopted more of the vocabulary of freedom than the spirit of it. Evan Osnos on censorship in Burma: an Orwellian flashback - http://nyr.kr/PZaOpk (via newyorker)

(Source: newyorker.com, via newyorker)



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After the general discussion, three of us—a middle-aged black woman, an older white woman, and a Jewish man—continued to talk about our experience of race, shared history, and the handing down of tradition. Where else in this wonderfully diverse city do such conversations occur? Thanks to all at Center Stage for a most memorable evening….

In response to our current production of The Whipping Man, we got this lovely, unsolicited email from a patron. Couldn’t ask for more:

Dear Everyone!

The play, the actors, the direction, the set, lighting were ever so much better than the review led me to expect. …the subplots and subsidiary detail enhanced our experience of the intricacies of relationships under the slave system.

The follow-up discussion engaged all of us in opening up the characters and plot lines as we talked about religion, politics, and race.  I was so impressed that [the actor] stayed to hear and interact with the audience - and describe some of the directorial process. …I have to disagree on one point: We do talk about race in America - not frequently, not enough, but at Center Stage on a spring Sunday following a shared experience of artistic genius.

After the general discussion, three of us , a middle-aged black woman, an older white woman, and a Jewish man, continued to talk about our experience of race, shared history and the handing down of tradition. Where else in this wonderfully diverse city do such conversations occur? Thanks to all at Center Stage for a most memorable evening!



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Most saddening about Mamet is that he may have lost sight of the way in which artists abdicate their independence when they choose to align themselves with any system that proposes its rightness. I would hope that David would write plays rather than tracts. Because the devil always has the best dialogue, and he is possessed by the devil right now.

Jon Robin Baitz Talks About His New Play, David Mamet, More - The Daily Beast

Plenty more where this came from; check out the link to see, and then come check out American Buffalo at CENTERSTAGE, for a look at where the journey began.



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"They tell me Virginia has its share of characters. It will be hard to match the ones who have populated this column over the years. Without further ado, I’d like to thank:"… and, to read who gets skewered, follow the link below.

~Vozzella goodbye: Columnist thanks Sheila Dixon, William Donald Schaefer, David Simon and other Mayland figures for six years of fun. - baltimoresun.com



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life:

This Day in History: On Aug 18, 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified allowing women the right to vote.
Pictured Above: The British feminist, seen here in 1905, co-founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, the U.K.’s leading suffragette organization, in 1903.

Girl power y’all — Civil Rights: Beyond Black & White

life:

This Day in History: On Aug 18, 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified allowing women the right to vote.

Pictured Above: The British feminist, seen here in 1905, co-founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, the U.K.’s leading suffragette organization, in 1903.

Girl power y’all Civil Rights: Beyond Black & White



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Swirling the Drain in Charm City

Former Senator owner vows run for council president

By Julie Scharper
The Baltimore Sun, Thu Jun 30 2011

The former owner of the Senator Theatre declared his candidacy Thursday for president of the Baltimore City Council, saying he wants to lead the body he called “a sorry crew.”

Tom Kiefaber, who lost the historic theater founded by his grandfather to foreclosure last year, criticized city leaders and the local news media, and compared his candidacy to the “Arab Spring” that is prompting protests in the Middle East.

Borrowing an analogy from a film he screened frequently at the Senator, Kiefaber likened the council president’s office to “that ventilation shaft on the Death Star in ‘Star Wars’ that they just forgot about. And that’s what I’m going after.”

With just days until Tuesday’s filing deadline, Kiefaber becomes the best-known Baltimorean to challenge Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Young was appointed to the position last year by other council members as part of a string of City Hall shake-ups triggered by the resignation of Mayor Sheila Dixon.

"We’re going to put a group together and win back our city," Kiefaber said.

Kiefaber addressed reporters from the overgrown lawn of a home that he owned until a few weeks ago. The city took possession of the home — which is adjacent to a lot used by Senator patrons — a few weeks ago after Kiefaber lost it to foreclosure, the city solicitor said.

"This used to be my house," said Kiefaber. "Now it belongs to Baltimore City. They took it along with the Senator … for the reason they do anything: Because they can."

Kiefaber was forced to turn the theater over to the city last summer after falling behind in payments. The city chose Buzz and Katherine Cusack, the father-and-daughter team behind the Charles Theater, to run it.

Kiefaber said he planned to use the address of his foreclosed former home when he filed the paperwork to run for office. He has not yet filed to run.

Kiefaber said he decided to run for the city’s second-highest office after he was asked to leave City Hall on Wednesday for the second time in as many weeks.

The 59-year-old stormed the dais in council chambers during a council meeting last week, grabbed a microphone and railed against city government, calling Baltimore a “banana republic.” Police officers escorted him out of City Hall but did not press charges or ban him from the building.

On Wednesday, Kiefaber walked into the weekly meeting of the Board of Estimates, which is chaired by Young. Young banged his gavel and called a recess while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who also sits on the board, slipped into an adjoining room to pour herself a glass of orange juice.

Mayoral spokesman Ryan O’Doherty and a police officer assigned to protect the mayor confronted Kiefaber as he sat in the front row of the meeting.

Kiefaber initially refused to leave, but changed his mind when Officer Penny Sprinkle arrived.

"For you, Penny, I’ll leave," he said.

City Solicitor George Nilson said he and the other members of the Board of Estimates made “a collective judgment” to ask Kiefaber to leave.

"It was very clear, in his affect and in his expressions and his body language, that he was making the council president and the mayor extremely uncomfortable," Nilson said. "His behavior in the council chambers … was the precipitating circumstance."

Nilson said that Kiefaber was not permananently banned from City Hall and that he would contact him in the next week or so to discuss the incident.

"We’re trying to balance reasonable security concerns with his right as a citizen to try to access City Hall," he said.

A spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland said she did not know enough about the incident to comment on it.

"People generally can’t be excluded from a public meeting based solely on the fear that they could disrupt," spokeswoman Meredith Curtis said.

But if there were evidence that a person was planning a disruption, or if there were a “very specific threat,” a person could be banned, she said.

Kiefaber said the officials who forced him to leave City Hall violated his rights. He said he had not intended to take the microphone at the council meeting last week, but that it was a “spontaneous citizen reaction.”

"I didn’t expect to find myself on the dais, but there I was," he said. Watching fearful council staffers scurry from the chambers "was like switching on the light in the crack house kitchen," he said.

"The city is swirling around the bowl and about to go down the drain," he said.



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