Well, another SAA annual meeting has come and gone. Probably the most neutral thing one might say about this year’s Performing Arts Roundtable meeting was that it seemed inconsequential. Although a sign in the main are congratulated PAR (and several other roundtables) on its 30th anniversary, this milestone went uncelebrated.

Others did wax nostalgic. Mainly for the “tango-I got archivists” session at the 2008 meeting. This retrospective got me interested in looking back at this long-neglected blog, and reading quickly through it, there were many posts which were extremely good. Should it be revived?


Or is it the second day. The first day of this much-anticipated conference began with a choice of morning and/or afternoon “excursions” to a wide variety of performing arts archives (more about that in a future post).

I seem to be technologically-challenged; having difficulties remembering my Twitter password and the WiFi appears a bit intermittent. But I will try to get it together this afternoon.

Rick Schmidlin photograph of casket with puppet designed by Phillip Silver for the 1996 production of "The Merchant of Venice" from the Stratford Festival Archives.

Rick Schmidlin photograph of casket with puppet designed by Phillip Silver for the 1996 production of “The Merchant of Venice” from the Stratford Festival Archives.

The latest issue of Performance! (the newsletter of the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable) is now available at: http://www.archivists.org/saagroups/performart/PArtsNews2013sum.pdf.

It features an interview with Tom Patrick, former dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, who has made the transition to company archivist, as well as stories on the Institute of Outdoor Drama archives, the Center for Black Music Research, and the University of Arizona’s Dance Resources Center.

Before the Rose Ensemble

The audience gathers at St. Olaf Catholic Church for a performance


The New York Times reported today that “most” of the company’s sets and costumes had been submerged in over six feet water in the basement of Westbeth, which was flooded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The total extent of the damage and loss has yet to be assessed.

West Fourth Street looking west

I don’t know about you, but Women’s History Month has gotten off to a rocky start for me.

For example, it was disheartening earlier this week to read the sad news that political activist and book artist, Suze Rotolo, had passed away.  Although the full-length obituary by William Grimes that appeared in the New York Times was a wide-ranging and sensitive account of what sounds like a life well-lived, the title of the condensed version that appeared on the Arts Beat blog simply read, ” Suze Rotolo, Muse and Girlfriend to Bob Dylan, Dies at 67.”


Promotional still from “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” (2010); photo by Jody Lee Lipes.

So much for my November promise of more frequent postings, but just a quick announcement to let you all know that the Winter issue of the newsletter of the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable is now available online:


The issue features an article about the Diaghilev exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as interviews with New York City Ballet dancer Ellen Bar (about her film adaptation of Jerome Robbins’ 1958 ballet, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz) and Brooklyn Academy of Music archivist Sharon Lerner.

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