Sunday, October 26, 2008

Remembering Arthur

Join in mourning Arthur Sainer, a close colleague of mine at The Village Voice for an extraordinary decade. Writing about theatre in New York was a privilege and an amazing adventure in the early sixties, when Off-Off-Broadway was being born; it became increasingly problematic in the seventies, as the first revolutionary burst of energy dissipated and the way ahead became more obscure. Arthur (like me) was not only a critic but an all-round man of the theatre, writing plays, running a theatre, putting himself on the line. He never won the appreciation he deserved, but I don't think he expected to. Although he was a quiet, rather mild presence, with a wry, dry sense of humor, his convictions burned fiercely bright. His invaluable "Radical Theatre Notebook," written in 1974 and updated in 1979, is a gold mine of history and inspiration from that important era, from which the best impulses continue to resonate despite the distractions of commercialism and hype. Arthur insisted on standing forth for truth and justice, asserting a politics of theatre that America noticeably did not take to; it was a fight worth fighting, and there was joy in the struggle. He was a man I am glad to remember. Let us keep him in our hearts.

No comments:

Post a Comment