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Wednesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 25 Jan 2012 7:51 AM

Today in the roundup: Local talent on the SDCC stage, building a better arts board and recapping the Oscar nominations.


GOING LOCAL: The South Dallas Cultural Center is lending its stage to a local playwright. Jonathan Norton’s My Tidy List of Terrors follows a woman who moves in with her employer to help keep her son safe from a string of child murders that ravaged early-1980s Atlanta. “Norton writes the play like a game of solitaire leisurely combining the characters, confident in the Atlanta Child Murders’ backdrop to tie it all together,” David Novinski writes on “The result is a pretzel of plotlines peppered with some powerful scenes.” Liz Johnstone found some things to like but also some problems. “The overall result is a bit of a patchwork, at times powerful, but often flat and weighed down by clunky, repetitive dialogue that has the opposite of its intended effect,” she writes on Front Row. Meanwhile, Alexandra Bonifield was fairly blown away. “Jonathan Norton’s talent as a playwright touches on the poetic that graces the works of August Wilson or Susan Lori Parks but clearly defines his voice as uniquely his own,” she writes on Catch My Tidy List of Terrors through the weekend.

BUILD A BETTER BOARD: If you’re interested in arts management, Barry’s Blog is always an insightful read. It’s written by a former director of the California Arts Council and housed on the Western States Arts Federation’s website. Anywho, Barry writes this week about the many faulty steps that are used to select board members for arts organizations. Some of you are probably (and understandably) guilty of some of these. So Barry sums up his thoughts by writing, “We really ought to pay more attention to what a board ought to be, how it ought to function, who we want on our boards v. who we will accept, and what we expect of them once they agree to serve – beyond showing up with their checkbook.” 

A LOOK BACK: Yesterday, DMN movie critic Chris Vognar and I hosted a live chat on about the Oscar nominations. Seems like it went pretty well – plenty of good questions from the chatters. If you missed it, the transcript is now up.