From a goddamn brilliant article by Mark Jackson on HowlRound:
The next day Chloe [Veltman, critic for SF Weekly] ran into Rob Avila, critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, who said he’d just had the same conversation [about critics and playwrights mixing more] with director John Wilkins. Chloe got us all together, along with actor Beth Wilmurt and John’s wife, producer Kimball Wilkins. We ate, drank, and talked seriously about the theater. Mostly we talked about how talking about the theater is as vital to the theater as food is to the body, and that the various strands and strata of the local theater community could benefit from intersecting more often and directly….
Since then we have continued to throw salons roughly every four months….What is consistent from salon to salon is (1) we pick a specific topic or question for discussion, (2) ask our guests to arrive on time and bring a bottle of their favorite beverage, and (3) that it is a non-networking event where everyone is invited to (4) eat, drink, and talk seriously about the theater. We make a point of inviting a mix of past attendees and newbies, gathering at the table people from all corners of the community….It isn’t just the critics and artists who should talk to one another more, but everyone.
This is such a wonderful idea, and the article — which is so well-written that it’s almost impossible to excerpt — is beautiful and inspiring. You should most definitely read it!
Full disclosure: Way back in the day, Kimball Wilkins and I shared an office at our mutual day job. Wow, that seems like such a long time ago.