Winners and Losers

Local filmmakers hit it big at Sundance; the city hands Gas Works to One Reel; Taproot survives 2005, and more news.

HE SAID/HE SAID

Arts writer Jim Demetre says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently terminated his freelance dance writing gig after he criticized the paper on his Web site (artdish.com) for cutting one of his reviews. But P-I arts editor Duston Harvey demurs: "I haven't let anyone go, I just haven't been using him that much. . . . He's third in line next to my primary guys." P-I staffer R.M. Campbell, who regularly covers dance, blames the situation on a recent lack of performances, adding, "I never said to him the door was closed absolutely at the P-I, but that I hoped we would have something in the future." Demetre insists deeper issues are at hand: "The question is really whether I was fired or if they have simply chosen to limit their coverage of dance." KELLIE HWANG

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Northwest filmmakers James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) and Lynn Shelton (We Go Way Back) were big winners this week at Sundance and Slamdance, respectively (the latter being the alternative Park City, Utah, fest run by filmmakers). For details, see Tim Appelo's report. . . . The City Council gave the green light to One Reel to stage the Summer Nights concert series in Gas Works Park for the next three years, despite neighborhood opposition. The council vowed to work with community members to mitigate noise, traffic, and parking problems. . . . Wendy Wasserstein, a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright with strong ties to Seattle, died Monday, Jan. 30, of lymphoma at age 55. A number of her best known plays, including The Heidi Chronicles, were developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre in the 1980s and '90s under the wing of then–artistic director Daniel Sullivan. LYNN JACOBSON

TAPROOT LIVES

Despite financial challenges, Taproot Theatre Company closed its 2005 season in the black. Last spring, a state audit of Taproot and other midsized theaters concluded that nonunion cast and crew members should be paid hourly wages instead of stipends. This led to a substantial increase in production costs, but Taproot forged a new business model that ultimately resulted in a profit of about $20,000—the first operating budget surplus since 2000. Although ticket sales were slightly down in 2005 (to 28,728, from 30,928 in 2004), slightly higher average prices contributed to increased revenue. Subscription sales for 2006 have already surpassed those of 2005—a cause for celebration as Taproot approaches its 30th anniversary. MARISA McQUILKEN

DO THE MATH

The Seattle Symphony's "Made in America" festival (May 6–20) by the numbers:

Concerts and related events: 17.

Musical organizations participating, aside from the SSO: 7.

Number of composers represented (not including performances by partner ensembles but including one group composition): 33.

Living composers (at press time): 33.

Women composers: 9.

Under 40: 6.

Seattle composers: 2.

World premieres: 4.

Oscar-winning scores: 1 (John Corigliano's "Chaconne" from The Red Violin).

Pieces played recently in Seattle which I can't wait to hear again: 2 (Janice Giteck's Where Can We Live Safely Then? In Surrender. and Samuel Jones' tuba concerto).

Number of concerts on the May 20 "Day of Music" grand finale: 6.

Ticket prices: nothing over $30, several events free.

The most important number of all—the box office: 206-215-4747, www.seattlesymphony.org.

GAVIN BORCHERT

info@seattleweekly.com

 
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