(L-R) David Dower and Polly Carl in conversation at the CUNY Graduate Center, December 5, 2011. Image by Martha Wade Steketee.
  • “I built a career by creating the rooms I want to live in and insisting that I have a soul.” (Polly Carl)

Speaking as much with each other (bouncing ideas off each other let us say) as with the energized theatre folks in the audience at the Martin Segal Theatre this Monday evening, David Dower and Polly Carl of Arena Stage share their infectious enthusiasm for the future of playwriting and institutional theatre-making and strategies of building theatre communities in the digital age.  Each has been performer or director or theatre maker in several cities across the country (San Francisco, Minneapolis and Chicago to name a few) and are now both located at Arena Stage in Washington DC — where Dower is Associate Artistic Director and Carl directs the American Voices New Play Institute housed there.  As Dower often states of the DC-resident Arena and repeats this evening “This is not a national theatre but a regional theater that happens to be located in the nation’s capital.”  This actors’ theatre is morphing into a playwrights’ theatre with the assistance of these two professionals and the Institute they are building with a small resident staff and a growing series of overlapping communities who feel some stake in its success.

Moderator and host Frank Hentschker asks just a few questions to get things going, then watches and listens along with the rest of us to the articulate and enthused pair.

Read More: click here.

© Martha Wade Steketee (December 7, 2011)

Original posting on Steketee’s blog Urban Excavations at urbanexcavations.com.

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