First and foremost Scott Walters is a teacher, but in that capacity, he is also a director of student productions at University of North Carolina at Asheville. Last semester he directed and blogged with his students Philadelphia Story.
Scott’s blog posts at Theatre Ideas are filled with Advice to the Players concerning the “fixes” necessary to cure our national theatre. These blog entries are always well researched and knowledgeable but also tinged with that patronizing posture of “the teacher.” He is always more lecturing to students than dialoguing with peers. Scott is a big promoter of ensembles producing theatre across the country but his common method of doing this is to attack or offend some supposed or real aspect of New York theatre. For instance in his current post he finds an alliance with Zack Mannheimer who is attempting to relocate his once Brooklyn-based Subjective Theatre. Zack is on the road now hitching a ride to ANYWHERE BUT NYC. Predictably, such expatriates’ caustic dismissals of the city causes high drama in the theatrosphere from the many theatre bloggers who still live and work within the community.
Scott’s recent response to Praxis Theatre’s 10 Questions interview (with extended elaborations at his Theatre Ideas blog), coupled with his 15 Seconds of Fame at The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event which was a “production” within the Brick Theatre’s Pretentious Festival by NYC Theatre Bloggers, spawned a wide-ranging discussion in the theatrosphere on the nature of our national theatre. This debate segued seamlessly into the fracas that developed around Peter Birkenhead’s controversial Salon article in which he pooh-poohed the Tony Awards celebration and theatre in general.
Of the many theatre bloggers that live in New York and have taken exception to the implicit and explicit slurs directed at their theatre community and city, none have been as ardent in its defense as native New Yorker critic Leonard
Jacob de Groot. Catch up on a current episode of the debate at the Clyde Fitch Report. Begin with Leonard’s rant to incite a lynch mob but do not leave without visiting its counter. In an affecting eulogy of actress Anne Pitoniak, Leonard reminds that theatre in New York, including Broadway, can be experienced with all the same riches of community that smaller cities possess.