I read a blog earlier this week that referenced the notion of an “oversupply” of arts organizations. The idea being that there are too many arts organizations and not enough demand. As far as theatre in Chicago goes, I think that’s crazy talk. Part of what makes us so unique is that a person can graduate from college, move to Chicago and found a theatre, it might last a year or it might last 30 years, but for however long it lasts, there will be opportunities for artists to have a voice and that’s what keeps us on top.
BUT…last night I was part of a discussion where we talked about how there might be an oversupply of shows, particularly at certain times of year. Or should we call it an undersupply of audiences. It was an interesting discussion and I wonder if we could or would want to stagger some shows, but there is a definite perceived “best date” for opening, for instance, a fall show. But is that the best date if there is a ton of other shows opening on or around that date? Would it be easier to get the attention of audiences if a show opened in August? If so, then why doesn’t anybody do it? Can anybody really risk trying that?
The real trick is to get an oversupply of audiences. So many people clamoring to see plays that we can’t keep up with their demands for MORE THEATRE! We’ll work on that.