The Why

Anne Bogart's picture

The playwright and performer Taylor Mac is constantly developing multiple new projects. He is at work now on a twenty-four hour concert about the history of popular music.  He spoke to my students at Columbia University recently and told us that he is looking for two hundred and fifty songs from twenty-four decades, music from the 1770s up to the present decade.  I asked Taylor how he choses the songs. He said that he looks for songs that create community. 

Oh, a song that creates community! I asked Taylor what kind of songs creates community. He said that some music tends to make the listener internal and contemplative and other music connects people. He is choosing music that connects people.

Being Stuck and Getting Unstuck

Anne Bogart's picture
In early January, during the APAP (Arts Presenters) Conference in New York City, I enjoyed a few quality moments with my friend Mike Ross, Director of the Krannert Center in Champaign-Urbana.  We sat together on stools at the corner of a bar in a shady midtown pub.  Over the years, Mike has been a great supporter of SITI Company, hosting us many times at his beautiful performing arts complex in the flatlands of Illinois.  He is a tall, handsome, intelligent glass of water, always insightful and philosophical about the world we live in.  I mentioned to him that touring and commissions were finally looking up for SITI Company after several years of struggle and lack in a difficult economic climate.  I asked Mike if he thought that this positive change is due to general expectations for a better economy. “No,” he said, “the economy is not improving much, but people are simply adjusting, becoming more optimistic, going on with their lives and making plans again.” 

The Blank Page

Anne Bogart's picture

SITI Company has just completed a two-week “creative lab” period in which we laid down the initial strokes on the canvas for a new project entitled Café Variations.  Committing those first strokes is absolutely terrifying. At least that is my experience.  In the weeks and days leading up to our collective launch, I was nervous and jittery.  As much as I prepared, nevertheless I felt the real lack of firm ground.  Armed with the theme of the alchemy that occurs when one human being makes the heroic effort to reach out to another, we began with no set script, rather a collection of short scenes from many of Chuck Mee’s plays, songs from the American songbook, a few ideas and notions, trust in my colleagues and the years behind us and our general respect for one another.  From this, we presume.  From this, we proceed. 

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