trouble in the Garden
Kudos to Patricia Cohen, whose latest Times article breaks down the financial backstory of the current revival of Martha Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights, running now at Minetta Lane Theater. Cohen follows the development trail of the revival and shows how it “came within a hair’s breadth of not happening at all” despite the following three-year laundry list:
– Government support (an NEA American Masterpieces grant)
– Corporate support ($50K from American Express)
– Festival showing (American Dance Festival hosted the piece as a work in progress opener in ’07)
– Out-of-town opening (at Two River Theater in NJ)
– In-kind support (from Flying by Foy)
– the final “yes” from the right producer (in this case, Rhoda Herrick, who’d never met Clarke but committed after a single phone call from her)
Cohen rightly acknowledges the role of September’s economic crisis in leaving Clarke’s production nearly high and dry, but I’m glad she doesn’t downplay the pre-existing difficulties in geting a known, acknowledged masterpiece produced. And I’d love to see the Times do a follow up showing its readers who don’t work in the arts what it takes to get enough support to produce an untested new work that doesn’t have the benefit of Martha Clarke’s artistic standing.
Meantime, do yourself a favor and see the piece.
Nov 19 – Jan 18
Tue. 7 pm; Wed-Fri. 8 pm; Sat 3 & 8 pm; Sun 3 & 7 pm
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