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Steppenwolf Theater Company
"another world is possible"
I am a theater producer and dramaturg, which mostly means creative problem solving and managing teams of artists working collaboratively through a production process. I also teach Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama, where I encourage the next generation to ask big questions: what does it mean to be a generative artist in these times? What has it ever meant? What are all the ways stories can unfold in time and space? How can we put storytelling in the service of democracy? What can an experience of art tell us about how we live now? What do we want people to do after an experience of art? How can art best work towards social change? These are my everlasting obsessions.
I love this idea! Failure is such a great teacher.
I want to come back to something mentioned earlier in the discussion, which is the idea of having different disciplines involved. I think that rather than creating different nights for people interested in similar disciplines -- architecture -- the idea Louise puts forward of having speakers from 3 different disciplines each night would be great. It's important not to underestimate the power of lateral and associative thinking -- so that someone's story from a project completely unlike mine might teach me something, or spark an unexpected idea.
I also think that there is a temporal aspect to failure. Depending on when the experience happened relative to the story, the story about it will change. Put another way, there is "digested" failure, which will be people telling stories of a failure and what they learned from it; but there is also possibly an opportunity for people to talk about "undigested" failure, allowing someone in the midst of a problem to seek solutions. I wonder if there would be a way to allow the audience to problem solve.