I don’t read reviews and
when I do I am just looking ever so briefly to see if it’s good or bad.
Basically, it’s not me I care about but all the people who put their time,
energy, and money making the play work. The one thing on my mind: Did the show
meet its projections? I don’t believe I have ever had a play not meet its
I had a play produced about
two years ago. After six months or so had passed and I knew it had done its
job, I went back and skimmed the mostly positive reviews. When I say mostly
positive, I am just looking to see if there are at least three lines that can
be pulled from it. Not one or two words but three lines. How many times do we
walk by a theater and read in quotes “spectacular.” That really means nothing.
The critic may have called the play a “spectacular set design wasted on a
Anyway, one review did
catch my eye. It was bad at first and then it got worse. It’s conclusion
was…well, in order, to give this writer a second chance to be heard I will
quote from that last paragraph. Enjoy:
“Leaving the theater and
its bejeweled opening-night crowd on this cold night, I passed a homeless
person relieving herself on the Loop sidewalk before retiring to her doorway
boudoir. It was a pointed if unwitting comment on the longterm human and social
costs of unrestrained militarism, more truthful than anything said or done on
The one thing I wonder is
if this critic did anything about what they witnessed. The review ends there.
We can only guess.
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Rogelio Martinez is the winner of the first ever Mid-Career Fellowship at the Lark Theater Company. Ping Pong, his play about Nixon, Mao, and the hippie that brought the two together, will be produced at The Public as part of their Public Studio series. His new play, Born in East Berlin, will be given a workshop at the Arden in January. Some of Rogelio’s plays include Wanamaker’s Pursuit (Arden Theater), When Tang Met Laika (Sloan Grant/ Denver Center/ Perry Mansfield), All Eyes and Ears (INTAR at Theater Row), Fizz (NEA/ TCG Grant/ Besch Solinger Productions at the Ohio Theatre, New Theater Miami), Learning Curve (Smith and Krauss New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2005/ Besch Solinger Productions at Theater Row), I Regret She’s Made of Sugar (winner of the 2001 Princess Grace Award), Arrivals and Departures (Summer Play Festival), Union City… (E.S.T, winner of the James Hammerstein Award), and Displaced (Marin Theater Co.) In addition, Rogelio’s work has been developed and presented at the Public Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, the Magic Theater, and Ojai Theater Company among others. Rogelio is an alumnus of New Dramatists and his plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing. He has received commissions from the Mark Taper Forum, the Atlantic Theater Company, the Arden Theater Company, Denver Center Theater, and South Coast Repertory. In the past Rogelio has been profiled in a cover story in American Theater Magazine. In addition to writing, Rogelio teaches playwriting at Goddard College, Montclair University, and Primary Stages as well as private workshops. For several years Rogelio was a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group at Primary Stages. In television, Rogelio has written for Astroblast, a children’s television show. Rogelio was born in Cuba and arrived in this country in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. He lives in New York with his family.