In Lewis Lazare's October 31 Culture Club piece about changes in the Splinter Group organization, there were a few contextual errors/misunderstandings on his part, and we'd like to correct them.
1. The article mentions that we're in a sort of "hibernation" at present, but the truth is that in June of this year the Splinter Group staff and board decided to step back from "main stage" production during the next two seasons, focusing instead on restructuring our internal management, maximizing the profit potential of our popular (but previously underutilized) touring Beckett programs, and organizing the ambitious 20th Century festival. When these three big projects were added to the numerous individual writing, directing, teaching (and, in my case, child-rearing) projects the Splinter Group artists are working on this year, it became clear that local production simply couldn't be a priority for the short-term future. So we won't be producing any major shows in Chicago this year, but we have enough irons in the fire at present to keep this from feeling anything like a "hibernation."
2. Lazare says that "so far," only Columbia College has signed on as a producing partner for the 20th Century project, but that's because Columbia College is "so far" the only other producer we've formally asked to join. We're still putting together the list of those other companies who might be good matches for the project, and the final list will be released sometime during the current season.
3. While it's true that six of the original early 90s Splinter Group associates have moved on to other markets, it's also true that three of them are still active with Splinter Group as "in residence" members of the collective and that we have added three newer artistic associates over the years. His use of the quote "I'm really the only one left" is only in reference to my status as the last full-time Chicagoan in the company's original lineup. In fact, there are seven members of the current artistic ensemble, and the artistic success we've seen over the last few seasons is a direct result of the work of this latest group of artists.
He was correct in stating that The Human Comedy was a "slick revival." We thought so too.
Lewis Lazare replies:
Matt O'Brien himself conceded that unforeseen circumstances over the next two years could cause the 20th Century project to be shelved. I would be the first to applaud the Splinter Group's ambitious achievements in the past, but from what I could glean of the company's current state of affairs, it will be a miracle if they can pull off the project.