“gay tv” – Google News
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For show-starved theatergoers, nothing beats a live performance. Even so, much of the pandemic-fueled online offerings coming from local companies continue to prove entertaining and informative.
At 1st Stage, the Tysons, Va.-based acclaimed company, artistic and managing director Alex Levy and associate artistic director Deidra LaWan Starnes, have introduced a series of six free Virtual Round Table Discussions with new segments added weekly through mid-November. Using Zoom, the forum pairs two theater professionals, many with insights into marginalized populations, in hour-long, unmoderated discussions on wildly different aspects of the industry.
“We were trying to figure out a way to continue engaging with audience and artists during the pandemic,” says Starnes. “We have done community conversations as part of productions, and we were looking for something similar but with a different feel. We like the idea of getting artists together virtually to have conversations among themselves.”
Of the half dozen discussions, Starnes names two as closest to her heart: “Redefining the Classics” and “Theatre and Parenting.”
“I’m at a point in life where I’m interested in how classic theater or the concept of classic theater is evolving,” says Starnes who is also an accomplished working actor. “We’re entering a new era that places other plays into the classical theater realm. I’m interested to hear what artists who have worked in that arena have to say.”
As the mother of two children, 20 and 16, who have been a part of her theater career since they were born, Starnes made sure to bring raising theater babies into the conversation.
Parenting round table participant Thembi Duncan, a longtime theater professional, on the boards and behind the scenes, and mother to a 22-year-old aspiring actor, says “I’m excited to talk about the ways theater practitioner parents can make it work for themselves and their families. My daughter benefited from being exposed to my profession, and has ended up going into that profession with no pressure from me. Daily, she was exposed to the joy of self-expression and the way that self-expression can impact the world in a positive way.”
After many years in D.C., Duncan and her wife, now live in Buffalo, N.Y., where Duncan is director of arts engagement and education at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. She advises younger parents pursuing careers in theater to put something reliable in place to support the family. “Theater will be here; it will exist always in some form. If you want to be in theater, you can stay in theater, and it doesn’t have to be on stage — for every actor there are 15 people behind the scenes from administration to production.”
Another upcoming conversation “Waiting for Life to Begin,” a discussion of post-pandemic life, features out director and Ford’s Theatre’s director of artistic programming José Carrasquillo. He recently received a Helen Hayes Award for directing 1st Stage’s production of gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brothers Size.”
Via phone from a borrowed bungalow in the wilds of New York state where he’s riding out the pandemic, Carrasquillo shares how he’ll approach the round table: “Not only do we have the pandemic but various reckonings, particularly the racial reckoning, so for me, I’m interested in discussing what kind of theater and work we want to do after we come back.
“We can’t go back to the way things were before for various reasons. But specifically, we need to focus on the stories that we tell and how we as curators of the art that gets put onstage, dismantle racism and creates an industry where equality rules.”
With regard to return, Carrasquillo says that’s an individual decision, adding, “My metric will be whether I as a 59-year-old Latin person will feel safe going into a space. I think the space will have to reassure me that none of my actors or designers will get sick and the staff will not get sick and that audiences will feel safe. I don’t see that happening for myself until the fall of 2021.”
In the meantime, he’s open to further discussion and happy to support 1st Stage in any way he can.
For details go to 1ststagetysons.org.
Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights
Property inspections have long been a part of the real estate buying process. Traditionally, a buyer would make an offer subject to a satisfactory home inspection. If something were found to be functioning poorly or not at all, the buyer would request that the seller make repairs and that request would be negotiated between the parties until they agreed on what was to be done.
As with everything else, there have been changes to the process over the years. There are now options for radon and lead paint inspections, and inspection of wells and septic systems that are more commonly found in outlying areas. Some jurisdictions specifically add mold, chimneys and environmental hazards to the list of possible inspections.
Now, when preparing an offer for a buyer, an agent will discuss how, when, which, or if inspections should be conducted, in what manner the process may differ in each jurisdiction, and how a buyer’s market or a seller’s market can affect the process. She will also caution the buyer to focus on systems that are malfunctioning and safety concerns rather than on cosmetic issues.
Sometimes a listing agent will advise a seller to have a home inspection before putting the house on the market to identify items in need of repair upfront. The seller can then make the repairs and provide the report and invoices for the work to the buyer. If no repairs will be made, the information about the condition of the home can be used to set its price or market it “as is.”
In D.C. and Montgomery County, for example, there are two types of home inspections, one where a buyer can choose between the ability to negotiate repairs with the seller and the opportunity to cancel the contract for any reason he is dissatisfied with the inspection, or both.
A general inspection in D.C. need not be conducted by a certified home inspector but can be carried out by the buyer’s brother-in-law, best friend, or anyone else the buyer chooses. An inspector in Maryland as well as in Virginia must be licensed and insured. Radon, lead and well/septic inspections are required to be conducted by professionals who specialize in those areas.
At this time, we are still experiencing a seller’s market in many portions of the metropolitan area, although condominium sales are slowing, with 1,160 of them available just in D.C. and nearly 300 of those on the market for more than 60 days.
That means that houses in sought-after areas in pristine condition will still command multiple offers. When that is the case, a seller is looking for an offer with as few contingencies as possible. A home inspection contingency of 7 to 10 days leaves the seller in limbo, holding her breath to see if the transaction will continue or the buyer will opt out, so you can understand why she would look more favorably on an offer that has no such contingency.
One of the ways around this is by doing a pre-offer inspection, also referred to as a “walk and talk.” With the seller’s permission, you go to the home with your inspector prior to making your offer to determine whether you want the house and how much you are willing to pay for it based on its condition.
A walk and talk inspection is often less invasive and less expensive than a traditional inspection. You will either get an abbreviated report or none at all, so it’s important to take notes and photographs while you’re there with your inspector. Having this type of inspection allows you to write an offer without an inspection contingency, increasing the value of your offer to the seller.
While I don’t recommend it, sometimes a buyer will opt to bypass an inspection altogether. For example, in new construction a buyer meets with the builder’s representative prior to settlement to check the physical condition of the property and make sure systems and appliances are working properly. Items of note are entered on a punch list for repair by the builder.
Other examples may include a condominium, where the roof, basement, and some of the major systems are the responsibility of management, and a cooperative, which often requires an inspection by the building manager. Items identified must be repaired by the seller prior to transferring ownership.
And a word of caution about quick flips: During sellers’ markets, everyone with a hammer and a screwdriver becomes a renovation expert. There may be a pig hiding behind that lipstick.
Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202- 246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.
Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights