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Old 08-31-02, 06:14 PM   #1
Nannette Bubblette
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Boston, MA
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Default Future of Street Performance in New York...and beyond?

I am interested in knowing anyone's thoughts on street
performance in New York - namely, the history of the
city's resistance to supporting street performance.

I have some specific questions.

1. What is the history of street performance (esp.
street theater) in New York?

2. What festivals currently support street theater in New York?

3. Would a special, organized permit system, coupled
with organized and fair drawing of names for specific pitch
locations - similar to London and Boston in different
ways - be fruitful? Has this been attempted - and if so,
what were the reasons for failure. (I understand that the Parks department does have a permit system, but that in actuality, it's not very helpful)

4. How can street performing artists (with the
privilege of health, sanity and education) be allies to
disadvantaged street performers who have turned to the street as
their prime souce of income...(keeping in mind the idea that
the Parks Department would probably respond best to the
idea of "cleaning up the streets." I think that corporate
America has created - say Exxon sponsored "theater in the
park" but I doubt that every artist sees much value or edge in
this except as a much appreciated paycheck and steady job")

5. What are disadvantages of feeling threatened by
I ask this because I have a feeling that many artists
view avoiding the police as a measure of their dedication,
fearlessness, and intelligence. It weeds out the weak
of heart.

I wonder if it also sponsors an unhealthy competitiveness, promotes a tradition that excludes a real variety of artists, and discourages artists with more delicate sensibilities (who could present work that the public would like) resulting in uniformity in contemporary street
performance, which - in turn - makes the public wary, bored and unexcited by the prospect of street theater.

6. Is it possible to have a network of people in New York willing to take responsibility for street performers as a group (they have this for street artists in New Orleans).
What would it take to build this community?

These are just a few questions I have - questions I am
fielding for a friend who is interested in creating
more public outdoor theater in NYC.

I thank you for your ideas.

Chacha (Ms. Nannette Bubblette)
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