Ben and I just got done reading this article.

It’s a bit of a kick in the pants to say the least. Most of it I agree with to some degree or another. I have discovered that the “business” I got into for the love of what I did and created is much more of a business than anything else; where what we sell in the gift shop often turns out to be more important than what we put on stage. The model of this business is old and out dated and is causing more theatres to die prematurely; its the truth that I would not pay $40 – $60 per show for a night of theatre unless they picked me up from my house and dinner was included. I’ve often wondered myself how we can describe ourselves as a “Regional Theatre” when most of our company is bused in from LA or New York and is rotated through on a very quick basis.

I do believe that theatre can be saved, but not in its current form and something needs to be changed.

Earlier this year we sat around at a going away party that some theatre friends were throwing for us. Let me clarify that these were not the theatre friends of mine, co-workers of two years, who I’m sorry to say watched me going with little or no to do. These were the theatre friends of my husband, from a little well run community theatre near by. They carried enough to make sure we all saw each other one more time.

As we sat and played board games and drank beers and ate amazing holiday food they all talked about the next play they were doing at this little theatre. To be honest, it sounded almost exactly like the play they did with my husband and to be honest again, it wasn’t that great. However, these people were so excited about it that their eyes sparkled and shone; they were proud of their work and it made me smile. To them getting to do these shows, even if they were poorly managed and slightly shoddy repetitions of knock-offs of “Noise Off”, was a special gift they allowed themselves. Their audiences were small, but you could tell that they wanted to be sitting in those seats to support their friends, family, neighbors or co-workers. I left that night realizing that in the last three years what had I done that instiled such pride? I had done shows that were amazing and beautiful, with large budgets and great marketing strategies, but where was that unadulterated pride?

Ben and I have wondered quite a bit if it wouldn’t be worth to quit the big business we were in all together and go and have regular jobs and find a way to once again to contribute to something that we can truely be proud of again. I don’t mean to say that I want to throw away the last six years of my life, the hours, sweat and tears I’ve put into my training, which has gotten me quite far from where I started. It’s not that I never want to walk backstage again or put together another costume.

We don’t have big disires to become rich and famous through our work; we simply want to create something useful, meaningful, beautiful. We want to again do work that will make our eyes shine.

Advertisements