Okay, well some interesting comments on that David Blum NY Sun Public Theatre piece. Including one in the Sun itself (as anyone who goes to the original now will see) from LABrynth playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis:
While I share Mr. Blum's enthusiasm for the coming season at the Public and his support for Oskar Eustis (whom I genuinely adore, believe in, and am grateful to), his dismissal of George Wolfe's tenure at The Public reads like a hastily-argued joke -- and his attempt to encapsulate George's career there by his less than riveting production of "This Is How It Goes" would be equally laughable if it wasn't so transprently incorrect and downright insulting. I don't have the time or the inclination to defend George's tenure at The Public here. I was there with my theater company, LAByrinth, for the last four years on a daily basis so I know the score. George gave us a home and helped foster my playwrighting career, so perhaps I'm predjudiced. Furthermore, I'm quite sure a host of other artists would be "George prejudiced" as well -- starting with Suzan Lori-Parks, Liev Shreiber, Jeffrey Wright, Tony Kushner, Tonya Pinkins, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Greenberg, Savion Glover, and every band, artist, and cabaret act that ever played at Joe's Pub. The question that lingers and disturbs me most is this: why does Mr. Blum feel the need to tear George Wolfe down in order to write what is essentially a promo piece on The Public's upcoming season? If nothing else, the vivisection of George's career, legacy, and reputation merits far more than eight ill-considered paragraphs. Any semi-cultured New Yorker without an axe to grind could tell you that in his/her sleep. Oversimplified generalizations are tolerable at a bar after a couple of martinis. Mr. Blum does himself -- and your readers-- a disservice.
Respectfully, Stephen Adly Guirgis
The Sun is as white a paper as they get. And while it may be provocative for Blum to assert that Eustis has brought more "diversity" than Wolfe, it's surprisingly tone deaf from someone once, albeit briefly, the editor of the Village Voice! (Then again, as that link indicates, such reactions to his views seem to have played a role in his termination.)
I'd say Wolfe's tenure was marked by various excesses and, yes, a fair share of starfucking--but no more than our other nonprofits. But with shows like Noise/Funk, TopDog/Underdog, and the LABrynth partnerships he did get some of that Papp spirit back in the house and successfully distinguished the Public "brand" from his theatrical competitors. No one has yet made the lobby at Lafayette jumpin' again, but Wolfe did bring a tangible energy and made the Public matter as a generator of new work, good or bad.