The American Theatre Wing will begin its annual fall symposia series with a focus on "Playwrights, Directors, and Choreographers," Tues., Oct. 31 from 11 am to 1 pm.
The symposium is likely to be lively, since the topic has been a matter of some contention between the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Both sides are attempting to establish boundaries that protect their members' contributions, leading each group to allege that the other is encroaching on its rightful territories. However, although both organizations' executive directors have published testy articles about the author-director relationship, both sides also say they want to find an amicable arrangement and avoid feuding.
The Theatre Wing's "Production Seminar" will be at the same location the following day, also from 11 am to 1 pm. From 2 to 4, the symposium will focus on "Composers and Lyricists." And on Nov. 2, the keyword is "Performance" from 11 to 1.
The seminars are conducted before a live audience, and videotaped for cable broadcast, at the College of the City of New York, 365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St. Each is followed by a question-and-answer period.
The participants have not yet been set for any of the seminars, according to a press spokesperson, but past panelists have included Stephen Sondheim, George C. Wolfe, Glenn Close, Robin Wagner, Morton Gottleib, and other professionals working in virtually every aspect of legit theatre. Theatre Wing board members Jean Dalrymple, Brendan Gill, and Henry Hewes, plus Schuyler Chapin, George C. White, and Edwin Wilson, among others, have moderated past seminars.
Isabelle Stevenson, chair of the Theatre Wing, has recuperated from a recent operation enough to chair the symposia, as she has in the past.
Space is limited, and reservations are strongly encouraged. Interested parties should call (212) 765-0606.