There's a piece missing here -- or rather, an underlying assumption that needs to be brought up to the surface for examination, and it is located in Jones' first sentence. Lindsay Jones wants to make his living as a specialist -- a sound designer. So his analysis is probably correct, at least to some extent, given his assumptions. I would assert, however, that such specialization is not desirable for the regional theatre. I don't think that regional theatres can afford to have people around who do only one thing, whether that one thing is act, direct, design, or market. While a specialist is likely to have more skills than a non-specialist by virtue of focusing solely on one thing, such "narrow-casting" simply assures that a migrant life is necessary. If I am operating a regional theatre tribe, I am willing to trade that extra bit virtuosity that a specialist brings for a multi-disciplined artist who will maintain an ongoing relationship with the company and with the audience.
I know that goes against our national values, which puts the specialist ahead of the generalist. I would argue that, given the economics of theatre, the generalist is vastly more valuable than the specialist, and that theatre history bears this out. Moliere was a great playwright AND the leading actor for his company AND the head of the company. Shakespeare was a great playwright AND and actor in his company AND one of the owners of the company. The specialist is a symptom of our industrial approach to the creation of theatre art, a model that is fast becoming economical unworkable.
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