How do we define ourselves – by inclusion or exclusion? By what we have an affinity for or by what we have an aversion to. I have to admit that I am one of those people who can identify what I don’t like before I can identify what I do. As a result, I think I am overly enthusiastic about those things I do like because I’m trying to make up for being a hater most of the time. Good thing I like theatre.
Anyway, that got me thinking about how we define ourselves. The League is made up of so many theatres of different sizes and genres and ways of making theatre that it really does defy any coherent description except we all make some kind of theatre. I think its important that we all (including the League) move toward a more inclusive definition of who we are. I think many of us define ourselves as not a community theatre (not like WAITING FOR GUFFMAN) and not a commercial theatre (not like A CHORUS LINE). But lots of us are like community theatre in many ways and lots of us are like commercial theatre in many ways. Why don’t we embrace that?
The lines are falsely drawn, and like all lines they divide. But I think in the case of theatre these lines also prevent us from becoming fully ourselves by limiting us to what we are not, in both our artistic development and in our development as businesses.