Thursday, March 21, 2013

All Ways

I was talking to one of my smart smart friends the other day. She works for a regional theatre and she said that she is starting to see a dearth of new plays due to the recession. Huh? I said. She said yeah…we are seeing now the effects of the fact that people cut back on commissions and development of new plays in 2008-2010. So in the regionals, everyone is scrambling to try to get that 1-4 character play that everybody else wants. That play has had some development and some success, preferably in New York. Interesting. One of the best arguments I’ve heard yet for continuing to develop new plays. Because the people want them. Terry Teachout wrote an article in 2010 about how Americans actually like new plays and even edgy plays. As it turns out this is an issue for more than just me and her and especially in the Regional theatres. But what it really brought out for me in thinking about it is that in Chicago it is different. In Chicago you can go to that theatre and see that show that was in New York last year that you really wanted to see. You can also see that off-broadway play that you read about in the New Yorker. You can see some Shakespeare the likes of which are unparalleled in the world. You can see some classic straight plays and musicals done in new and unexpected ways. You can see devised work and ensemble pieces and shows about just about anything, done just about every way including naked, in drag, all male, all female, underwater, in a car. All ways. Lucky damnit, that’s what we are.


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