Friday, June 13, 2008

Mike Daisey's On My Mind

With Sunday's post-show panel at How Theatre Failed America coming up fast (now with free beer!), I am finding interesting stuff on Mike's website, including a link to an article about a 4-actor resident company being formed by Portland's Artists Repertory Theater. A step in the right direction, of course, and kudos to them. Mike links to an article in the Portland Mercury that quotes Daisy on importing actors, and then makes an outstanding leap:

The outsourcing conversation feels particularly relevant on the heels of the Drammys. Most of the awards given to Portland Center Stage went to people who were brought in from elsewhere, which kind of strikes me as complete bullshit. It’s no commentary on the quality of the work PCS was honored for—I sure can’t argue with the Outstanding Production nod to Twelfth Night, for example—but if you’re going to insist that these are “local” theater awards and not allow any touring productions or non-locally produced shows to compete, where’s the logic in then recognizing what is essentially touring talent, brought in from New York to work on a single project?

Brava, Allison Hallett. A tour is a tour, and most productions are the regional theatres are not regional, but rather limited run touring shows. And when does the theatre community that cares about our regional movement, the movement we fought so hard to bring to life, stand up and say enough, this sells out every value that was the foundation of this movement, and it violates the regional theatre's raison d'etre. We can do better. We must do better. And Mike Daisey, God bless him, has forced the conversation to take place (although man there was a desire at NPAC to skip the outrage and focus on the positive steps that have occurred -- the moderator of the discussion kept steeringf us clear of any sense of outrage to focus instead on happy talk).

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