Monday, December 26, 2011

International journal Critical Stages publishes my latest articles, interviews and editorial content

NEW YORK CITY:  The 5th edition of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques is now online.  As the U.S. editor, I contributed 4 articles and curated the Interviews section, the most ambitious set of interviews I've ever curated for this international web journal.

Critical Stages/Scènes critiques No. 5 contains 34 authors from 20 countries have written 45 articles for this 5th issue.  "There is no journal that has such international resources," says the publisher/editor-in-chief Yun Cheol Kim.

The articles I contributed reflect both the national and international purview from which I always write and edit.  I interviewed the U.S. playwright, screenwriter and director Craig Lucas, the author of Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Light in the Piazza, The Secret Lives of Dentists and the upcoming musical King Kong, which will premiere at Melbourne's Regent Theatre in early 2013.  In recent years, Lucas has frequently declined to give interviews to the media, so my conversation with him, entitled "Fear. Hope. The Life Force": Why I Write Plays," is an exclusive for Critical Stages.

I also interviewed U.S. playwright and librettist Ruth Margraff.  In my article, entitled "Trying to Look at Opera from the Pillars of Theatre," Margraff talks about the plays that are gathered in her new collection of plays, Red Frogs and Other Plays, which will be published in early 2012 under the NoPassport Press literary imprint.

Then I turn my attention to Germany.  My article on Roland Schimmelpfennig casts a new light on this German playwright and director who is currently one of the most heralded, most prolific and most produced playwright in Europe.  My conversation with him — entitled "That Point in the Drama Where It Starts to Hurt, That's Where the Work Gets Interesting" — took place in the lobby of the Sofitel Hotel in Washington, D.C., near the White House, a couple of hours before the opening night of his play The Golden Dragon at the Studio Theatre.  At the time, I was participating in a "German and American Media Dialogue" organized by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in D.C.

In my editorial "The Critical Act of Conversation," I observe that the interviews I curated and edited for Critical Stages ranges far and wide and traverses four continents (Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas) in search of their chosen subjects.  In all these interviews, I asked the critics to track down a theater artist whom they felt deserved to be more widely known by an international audience. I wrote:
"In choosing our interview subjects, each one of us exercised an essential critical act. If as Peter Brook once said that for an artist the choice of what one works on is an artistic act in itself, I would venture that the same goes for critics who decide to confront artists with questions. Indeed, all of interviewers depart or rebel from the typical slate of questions. It is of course fascinating to see how artists from four different continents respond to a similar set of questions — their replies reveal the hidden or neglected sociopolitical issues that our so-called globalized world frequently fail to expose — but it is even more significant when the critics probe the artists further about their work, their lives and their ideas."

Enjoy my articles in Critical Stages as much as I enjoyed curating and editing it as the U.S. editor. —RG

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