The News with Dan Hoyle

First Person Arts

2011
$20,000

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Dan Hoyle. Photo by Lyra Harris.
 

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Dan Hoyle. Photo by Lyra Harris.

First Person Arts commissioned San Francisco playwright/performer Dan Hoyle to develop a new journalistic theater work about the news: how it is reported, who disseminates it, and how it impacts our lives. This project, First Person Arts' first commissioned work for theater, furthered the organization's mission to identify and support memoir and documentary artists with distinctive voices and styles. Hoyle conducted interviews with personnel from a variety of news organizations, including the Huffington Post, Gawker, and the Washington Post. His goal was to take audiences behind the scenes and explore how and by whom the news is reported, as well as how evolving practices and technology impact what we come to know. Ed Sobel, current associate artistic director at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Company, worked with Hoyle to help shape the play, which grew from improvisation and experimentation based on his interview material. Among Hoyle's questions: How do we embrace the tremendous possibilities of digital media while keeping high-quality journalism sustainable, rigorous, and widely read? In the post-grant period, Hoyle pursues interviews at Google, Facebook, and Twitter to ask how leaders at these companies see their role as platforms for sharing information. First Person Arts intends to present a full production of Hoyle's piece in 2014.