I'm in Chicago for the IRA conference - sounds like they're planning the next event in Belfast but the R is actually for reading. And I've taken the opportunity to have a mini-theatre festival of my own.
I've only started going to the theatre regularly this year- and I'm enjoying it. Publishing is a solo activity. Each step is basically done by a person alone at a desk. Sure there's lots of discussion but it's not a group thing and we rarely see the response to the finished work. In a play it's a group thing to perform and there's an audience out there. And each performance, unlike each book in a print run, is unique. And I'm finding theatre a really interestingly different way of telling stories - and informative on our work. (I'm curious about the role of the dramaturg and parallels with the work of a book editor or publisher.)
I've squeezed in two trips to the Steppenwolf Theatre. The second trip this Sunday afternoon was to a preview of Don DeLillo's Love-Lies-Bleeding. Terrific. I knew I wanted to see this before I left Australia. I just didn't know whether I could fit it in, which makes seeing it all the more satisfying and especially as it was so very very good. The level of cultural discussion and the investment in culture here is so deep. The choice of theatre on any given night so rich. It makes Melbourne feel isolated - we struggle being so far away with so few connections. (I'm sure though that gives us opportunities too.) I went to a wine shop last night, nothing special, but the choice of French, Spanish and Italian wines was huge. A small thing maybe but indicative.