Taming the Maze of Reviews

Our new search resource (look at the prototype) is the engine for the nytheater indie archive project. But the real meat of the project will be the components of the archive that contextualize all of the vast material that’s housed within it.

When it’s done, the archive will include more than 11,000 individual items that each tell a story about a particular “moment” of NYC indie theater history. That’s really important, but even more important will be to trace the larger narratives of two decades of indie theater. We don’t just want a forest full of trees; we need to craft an easily travelled set of paths that will transform our forest from a confusing maze to a beautiful park.

We have a few notions as to how to accomplish this contextualization, and I’ll be talking about them here on the blog today and in the future. The first idea is this daunting but fun one:

I am going to write an ebook.

It will trace my personal journey through indie theater from the time I discovered it until the present day. It won’t just be me talking: my vision is to incorporate contributions and reminiscences from the remarkable talented artists I’ve had the joy of meeting over the years. The ebook will link dynamically to the archive so that you can hop directly from a discussion about a particular show to my actual review (or a podcast or an interview) in the archive itself.

As I said, this is a pretty daunting proposition. I want to ask the community today what direction(s) you would like to see me take as I begin the ebook. There’s a survey below that will help get the ball rolling. Please complete it! I am eager to see what everybody thinks.