Rather than discuss this further on the Fringe thread, I thought I'd start a new one.Another pet peeve (which I've brought up before): Programs that fail to give as much space to the writers and composers as they do to the actors. Such programs clearly give the message that, well, the message isn't hard to figure out.
Lou - You were critical of Civic in your review of Little Shop of Horrors for not crediting the authors of the show in the program. When someone from Civic contacted you and pointed out that the authors were appropriately credited on the title page, I think you edited your article to instead state your disappointment that the authors were not given bios in the program.
First of all, am I correct in my recollection?
And secondly, are you suggesting that community theatres include full bios of librettists, lyricists, composers, playwrights, etc., in all programs?
Do you understand that this information is not shared with theatres by the rights houses? All the rights houses specify is how the authors are to be credited on the title page.
So do you suggest that someone do this research on the local level? And how do we make certain it's accurate? Are we then at risk if someone gets something wrong? And then there's the issue of program length. If you've ever seen these bios in Broadway programs, you'll know that this can add pages to the program, which potentially adds to the cost.
I realize that as a playwright yourself, it makes sense that this would be a concern of yours -- and I'm all for giving appropriate credit in the program to the authors of a work. And if Civic were doing new works by local or regional artists, I feel very certain that they would happily provide a bio to the authors.
I just think there's a difference to giving a bio to the playwright of an original work, or a local artist or something like that, and giving a bio in the Indianapolis Civic Theatre program to Elton John for writing the music to Aida. Or even worse - do you think that theatres should list the entire bio of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein every time they do Oklahoma or South Pacific?
It is not required by the rights houses, and I think it can unduly burden a theatre staff to have to research this information and list it in their programs.
And Lou - you know I love your reviews, and agree with them a large percentage of the time. I just admit that it stung a bit to see this criticism in a review of a show at Civic (which I admit is near and dear to my heart) when I haven't seen you give similar criticism to other theatres doing "old chestnut" musicals. (And maybe you have, and I just haven't seen it. If so -- my bad, and I apologize.)
So I'm interested in hearing your arguments on the other side -- and also from others -- to see where I've erred in my thinking and in my protest.