Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After Dark, April 15, 2014

Enough bitching, let me say thanks.
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

As I observe this effing election in Quebec, and, as I write this, watch an enraging leaders' debate, I need to go to my happy place. Come with me, won't you, and think about (and share in the comments section) what and who makes you grateful.

- Public relations which are brill. I have gone on and on about PR that is awful, let me thank those men and women in the trenches who know how to do it and do it well: Sue Edworthy in Toronto, Rachel Lowry and Maryanne Renzetti in Vancouver, and the great teams at companies across the country who make my job easier. PR is no longer an amateur's game, no longer a company's after-thought. These people, in their work, make that a lesson to us all.

- That Stratford Festival did Mary Stuart last year (and it was a monster hit!) and is doing Mother Courage this year. 

- Alexander Neef, the boss at COC, who has people talking about big-house opera again even as companies (most recently San Diego Opera) are going under. I may not be dancing in the streets about all of Mr. Neef's choices, but, by Christ!, they make the blood flow!

- The entire team at Against the Grain which is bringing that discussion about opera into the streets. God bless them all.

- Twitter. I like direct access to both assholes and heroes. I like that Twitter can still be mobilized for causes. I like that at three in the morning a bunch of theatre nuts can talk about the arts in very specific terms and in real time. I also like that our readers can vote for or against our content with a retweet.

- I cannot express how thrilled I am that a library in Toronto has become The Theatre Centre

- I love that careers I championed as a print critic have since proven that energetic, talented young people can still find a worthy (and paying) place in our landscape. This is not a little thing. This is - given the nation's governments' piss-poor support for the arts - a miracle.

- That we decided to cover dance at CharPo and that companies - especially small ones - across Canada have found us and work with us to bring you badly needed information, and small celebrations of Canada's dance scene. (I would encourage others to create websites similar to this one for visual arts, film and television - especially Canadian - architecture and music.)

- I am, finally, so grateful for the 40 people with whom I work directly: reviewers, writers, interviewers, editors and, needless to say, my partner Estelle Rosen (it is no exaggeration that without her, this site would not exist). It is a dynamic organization, it keeps me young in spirit, and it opens my eyes - over and over again - to the wonder that is this nation's performing arts scene.

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