dead city-gate

Go check out the ONOFFNYC Yahoo! Group message board to find out about Dead City-Gate.

It starts off like this:

Dear friends,

You may have noticed (or have been fortunate enough not to notice, in which case the full text is below) that a feature in Friday’s Weekend listings section of the Times incorrectly attributed our production of DEAD CITY, by Sheila Callaghan, to a fellow theater company, 13P. Indeed, it wasn’t just a simple case of misidentification. The premise of the feature is that 13P is doing 3 plays at the same time, and DEAD CITY is the best of the bunch; therefore, DEAD CITY is proof that 13P’s mission of “we don’t develop plays, we produce them,” and having playwrights produce their own plays, can work.


We’re really quite fond of our 13P friends and their mission, and we TOTALLY appreciate how much the writer, Jason Zinoman, loved our show, both in his review (on 6/2) and in Friday’s paper. But it seems funny to us that he didn’t take the time to look at his program. Or his press release and attending documents. Or listen when Susan introduced herself during a curtain speech at the performance he attended. Or that after his editor fact checked with our press agent, who told him to ensure that New Georges was credited, nothing changed.

A correction (kind of — they now attribute the production to a company called “New Gorges”) appeared in Saturday’s paper. But after thinking long and hard about what to do, and how much the error-ridden Times really should rule our lives, we really just think Jason and his editors should understand what this mistake means to us, and that we have friends who know and respect New Georges’ job as producers and place in the theatrical ecosystem, and who pay attention.

Go Susan & Sarah!

To be honest, this is not the first time inaccuracies or out-and-out mistakes have cropped up in Times pieces. Various theater groups have sat there scratching their heads, reading reviews, wondering why someone didn’t get his or her facts right. And you know what? There’s a simple answer – The NY TIMES doesn’t use fact-checkers. It’s true – ask anyone that writes for them. They work on the honor system!

Bollocks, I say. Hire some friggin’ fact checkers!!

And as theater-makers (and goers) it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start calling them out more often – when you see a mistake in the Times, they should know about it.

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