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Is Diane Paulus our Savior?

I think she is, I really think our savior has come and her name is  Diane Paulus.

Okay, when I first heard of her I felt – I wish I could say exultant but  –  bitter envy.

Here is a woman who seems to be actually doing what I only hoped to do, make theatre live again.

Not only is she approaching theatre with the energy the theatre so desperately needs but she is creating theater people want to see.  I’ll say it again, creating theatre that people WANT to see!

And if that isn’t enough, she broken the barrier between the high-brow and the low.  I didn’t think it could be done.  I thought the powers that be (the intellectuals, the grant writers, the board members, the rich sponsors, the conservative money-men ) had such a stranglehold that there was no hope of real, long lasting life for the theatre.  But Diane Paulus has been appointed the new artistic director of the American Repertory Theater.

A.R.T.,  the bastion of avant garde,  I’ve never had anything against avant garde, I just lack what it takes to enjoy it -whether it is smarts, attention span, curiosity or something else – so I certainly didn’t have what it takes to create it.  The only comfort in this was knowing I am not alone, no one I know has ever said, ‘hey, let’s check out some avant garde theatre tonight, shall we?” (Okay, I admit, no one I know has ever actually suggested we check out any theatre at all.)

Diane Paulus is no snob – okay, she’s smart enough to be really really snobby – but she doesn’t produce snotty, high brow, dull as dirt theatre.  Instead, from what I hear, she produces the stuff you want to see, or rather, experience and even participate in.  From what I hear, she’s aiming for theatre that is better than a rock concert.

Damn her!  Why her and not me?  Why does she get to be smarter and more talented and more persuasive and… jealousy so sucks.  More precisely, this cloud of failure sucks.

What do I do when wrenched with jealousy?  Well I cry and…okay you don’t want to know the details but eventually I try to embrace the object of my jealousy and applaud and celebrate their success and I imagine they care.  And allow her success to motivate me.

All Hail Diane Paulus!

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