This afternoon I received an open letter to Company B from Caleb Lewis, one of the Shortlisted writers for the 2009 Phillip Parson’s Award, who has decided to withdraw from the competition.
I have posted the letter below.
I believe that this must have been a difficult letter to write and to send, as Lewis is, as many are, a living breathing playwright whom I am sure, wishes to be programmed on one of Sydney’s illustrious stages. The tenuous balance between the politcs of theatre and the programming of art is something I think all artists are mindful of. In fact, it is hard to feel that programming is fair and transparent when programming comes down to personal taste.
What I admire most about this debate is how the intergrity of an artist is truly measured in the risks she/he takes in voicing what she believes and what she/he knows in her heart is the right thing to do.
Is that not what so many plays through out history ask us to remember?
To thine own self be true….
And how often is it that we bite our tongues, we close our eyes, we turn our backs only later to say “I let that go, when I should have and could have said that I really believe…” As with anyone who has weighed in on the debate (annonymously or otherwise) the fear of being blacklisted is ever present.
To view the whole letter and blog click on this link: http://augustasupple.com/?p=764#more-764