Thursday, April 4, 2013

Passion and Need

So, by now you have all seen this piece by Todd London which I think is fantastic and says many things that are true and right and will help the American theatre but there is one area that I want to emphasize because I think this could easily be taken as a piece that speaks against larger or more institutionalized theatres, although I don’t think he does, I think that impression could be had.

We need an ecology that supports all types of theatres. Some of that is happening here – larger institutions presenting or producing the work of smaller theatres, definitely we all see each other’s work – but, it’s really in the money isn’t it? Someone I once worked for said “Nobody aspires to be poor and obscure,” truer words were never spoken but how can we aspire to greater heights without thinking of greater money and if our only example is an institutional theatre then how can we not aspire to that. Theatre audiences are created across the spectrum of theatre making so I believe that theatres with big marketing budgets will bring audiences to theatres with small budgets. But, I also believe that there needs to be a place created for experimentation and learning and growth that doesn’t mean a constant struggle to survive. That becomes that and only that. I agree with Todd in that I am beginning to think that the model lies somewhere in the ensemble theatre movement, that it is not going to be a model built on economics as, in fact, the regional theatre movement was not built on economics. I think it will be built on passion and a need in our society for more and deeper human connection and I think the economics will come.


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