Woodbury will be performing each episode once a week at Josie's Cabaret -- and in Los Angeles. Did she plan on that schedule because she didn't have enough stress in her life? "No," she says, "it was actually Dudley's brilliant idea. He's from Kentucky, and he has no idea how far away those two cities are. But I'll be doing the show, two episodes a night, in Austin, after the California runs, and I need to have the script down solid. It's 400 pages long."
Our conversation turns to academia and the arts establishment. "One gratifying demographic that came out of the New York run was that a lot of young academic women were coming to my show and writing scholarly papers about the work. I think it's dangerous for me to be too academic about my work -- I'm too close to it to theorize about it -- but I'm encouraged that this kind of stuff is getting into academic journals."
Woodbury is concerned about the quest for grants, which tempts artists to create work for the sake of possible funding. She explains: "There is this elitist cadre doling out money and patronage. But, if the state is your patron, you become modeled on that institution. There's a lot to be said for cottage industry in the arts. Getting grants can be dangerous for artists." Woodbury sees state funding as serving to authenticate the artist. "But," she asserts, "art is not about legitimacy."
The Heather Woodbury Report opens Friday, April 5, at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint. Each episode is performed only once; a new episode is performed each subsequent Friday. Call 861-7933.
By Deborah Peifer