…and that is a good thing.
The greatest result of Rocco Landesman’s comments last weekend is that it has pushed an important dialogue about theatre’s place in our culture. We all agree that theatre matters and that’s a good thing too. We start on common ground. In the meantime, we will continue to argue the details. I’m okay with that because I know the more I talk about it, the more I realize I might be wrong about some things, while reaffirming my other thoughts may be spot on.
With that said, Rocco chimed in on the 2AMt blog entry written by Trisha Mead that I discussed yesterday. Here is a clip of what he said in response: (emphasis is mine)
I think we do have to think about the size of the not-for-profit theater world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean making the strongest stronger. We should encourage the boldest, most compelling, high quality productions wherever we find them. I do take some issue with your idea that a shotgun, rather than rifle approach is called for. To go to your analogy, funders do not fund every scientist who hangs out a shingle. In our panel process, a group of peers makes qualitative distinctions among applicants, not according to size or reputation or the standard metrics of “success” but the perceived value of the work.
I could not agree more with “We should encourage the boldest, most compelling, high quality productions wherever we find them.”
You should read his entire comment in the comments section of the blog entry here. (You may need to do a little scrolling to find it.)
Rocco admits the “Supply/Demand” analogy may have been misused, but says:
I do think there may be too many theaters and perhaps if we had fewer of them, with more support, theater artists could be paid a living wage, something that is clearly not the case today.
Too many theaters? I don’t know about that. (I wonder what the ratio of golf courses to theaters is in our country?) But we can all agree that theater artists making a living wage would be a pretty good thing. That makes three good things in this article alone. Not bad. Now back to that pesky dialogue…