I just read Polly Carl’s blog post on Howl Round about social skills in the theatre and although its not the point of the piece, she brings up the question of institutions and I’ve been having some conversations lately about whether or not theatres should be run more like rehearsal rooms or to put it more eloquently, should the administrative decision making process mirror the artistic decision making process. Interesting right? Polly points out that the process of making a play follows a certain hierarchy – because plays are made under time constraints (4-6 weeks of rehearsal time), there isn’t time for complex processes to be carried out – everything goes through the director and she makes the calls. But what about choosing a play for production? Choosing a play can take years. I’ve worked for theatres for 5 years, where plays stay on the list for production all 5 years and don’t get produced, other plays are chosen during the course of the season for that same season. It’s messy and chaotic and I believe that’s how art gets made. The administrative side can no more be contained by a “process” than the artistic side can. We have to remain ready to turn on a dime and make things happen. While we have a lot to learn from corporations and business writers and other non profits and from our forbears in our own industry, we also need to stay true to the chaos. I think I’m going to put it on the list of core values.