I thought it was better to make an official announcement rather than just letting this blog go progressively fallow. After ten years and some 850+ posts, I am stepping away from uploading regular performance reviews to this site. The reason for this is simple: I no longer have the bandwidth to keep up with the task of responding in a thoughtful and meaningful way to all the shows that I see. My compulsive spectatorship of Vancouver performance will continue; I'm just relieving myself of the duty of writing about it.
This decision is freighted with a great deal of angst. I am well aware that public forums for arts and cultural criticism continue to diminish. It's why I started the blog in the first place--to give something back to a performance community that has given so much to me. I'm also conscious of the fact that I once wrote somewhere, in reference to precisely this act of reciprocity, that I could no more stop posting to this blog than I could give up my subscription to Ballet BC. The Ballet BC subscription is still intact, but the model of doing this off the side of my desk is no longer sustainable, especially when that desk is so cluttered with work from the institution that pays my salary (an institution, I note, that has never officially acknowledged the work I have done on this blog). Along these lines, it's instructive to me that the blog upon which I modelled my own, Jill Dolan's Feminist Spectator, has largely been dormant for the past three years, with only two posts (one of them a guest post by FS2 Stacy Wolf) since December 2015--which coincided with Jill becoming Dean of College at Princeton.
To be sure, I'm nowhere near as busy as Jill (nor has any major academic press rushed to publish a selection of my reviews--though I am, of course, open to offers...). But for my own sanity (not to mention the sake of my relationship), I am forswearing this form of criticism for the foreseeable future (say that six times fast). This does not preclude the occasional post here and there should the mood strike me, or should I be especially compelled by something I've seen. The past decade's regular cycle of morning-after reflections will, however, be retired.
To all my readers (all thirty-five of you), I thank you for your interest, and I invite those of you who might be so inclined, to consider making your own contributions to performance criticism in the city. To all the presenters out there, you can stop sending the email invites. I know I reneged at some point on my pledge always to pay for my own tickets, but now I will be returning to that principle, I swear. And, finally, to all of the artists whom I've written about: thank you for the complexity and the integrity and the generosity of your work. Please keep making more.
See you at the next show,
(P.S. And don't forget to vote!)