Friday, February 08, 2008

Mike Daisey Spells It Out

H/t to Isaac at Parabasis. If you have been reading my blog, you must read this: Mike Daisey's "The Empty Spaces, or How Theater Failed America" published in Seattle's newspaper The Stranger. If I haven't convinced you that the current system is broken, Daisey's essay will. Mirror Up to Nature finds it depressing; I find it a trumpet call to a new era in regional theatre, one that isn't beholden to New York, and one that puts the artists in control. The talent of people like Mike's friend should not go to waste.

And Then

For the couple readers who are still on board after the past couple days, click on the Theatre Tribe badge on the right and join people who share your interest in a different way of doing things. We can get to know each other, and exchange ideas, frustrations, and dreams.

Yesterday, I talked a lot about "and then" -- the talents a member of a theatre tribe brings to the table that extends the economic capabilities of the group. As I mentioned, I am drawing from Daniel Quinn's idea of the "occupational tribe," which he describes in Beyond Civilization. He writes, "a tribe is nothing more than a coalition of people working together as equals to make a living." So it is a collective.

Additionally, it is a self-sustaining, ongoing group of people who, "among them, have all the competencies needed to start and run a given business." So groups started by, say, actors and directors without designers are not a tribe -- they don't have all the competencies necessary to run the business. If one of them acquired those skills, then you're set.

Finally, tribe members are people who are "content with a modest standard of living," and who are "willing to think 'tribally -- that is, to take away what they need out of the business rather than to expect set wages." Think back to your theatre history, in which Shakespeare and his Globe partners would gather after each performance, count the money from ticket sales, subtract expenses, and then divide the remainder between them evenly. So your own individual health is dependent on the health of the theatre as a whole. If you put up a production that ain't selling tickets, it has an immediate effect on your pocket book, and you all have to make a decision: tighten your belts because you think the play is worth it, or get something else on the boards as quickly as possible. Ticket sales are no longerr somebody else's problem, it's your problem.

One key word above is "self-sustaining," and that is where "and then" comes in. We all know that it is difficult for a theatre to keep ticket prices reasonable and still make enough to balance the books from box office alone. One way to help is to cut costs, which is where having members of the tribe contribute multiple talents and share the grunt work comes in -- the fewer people splitting the box office income at the end of the day, the bigger share each gets.

But that will probably still not be enough. Traditionally, this is where the work gets subsidized by the members through their day jobs: they contribute their labor to the theatre gratis, and they pay their rent and put food in their stomach by selling their services in the marketplace. I think it is helpful to think of this as subsidy: the theatre's members are subsidizing the theatre by not taking anything from the coffers. Its the way things usually happen, and its fine. I just happen to think there might be a better way.

One way that theatre companies often turn to is grantwriting, and that certainly is an option. If one or more of the tribe can get trained in writing quality grant proposals, after a while there will be additional income -- they will be "extending the economic capabilities of the tribe." It will probably take several years before you are eligible for most grants or government funding, since most agencies want to see some sort of track record. In the meantime, you have to find a way to survive.

But there is a part of me that is squeamish about grants and government funding. This is a personal thing, really, and a feeling that might not be shared by other members of the tribe I would belong to (if there were one). I'd like to figure out a way to create additional income some other way, some way in which I and the other tribe members have more control. For me, this involves entrepreneurship.

Let's go back to the traditional model. You're an actor in a young company that isn't in a position to pay you anything, so you get a job with a temp agency doing office work. It affords you the flexibility that you need while also providing reaosnably consistent income for you. But here's the deal: the temp agency pays you an hourly wage, and then charges the business that you work for a much higher amount than you are being paid. The difference is their profit margin. My goal is to figure out a way to "and then" that will eliminate that middle man, so that the theatre will receive ALL the money, not just the reduced amount being paid to you.

So am I suggesting a theatre tribe temp agency? Not really. But I am suggesting that the tribe create some sort of business that is staffed by the tribe members. Ideally, this would utilize the specific talents, theatrical or otherwise, of the group. Let me illustrate this with an example. A couple years ago, I served as a consultant for a business that contracted to provide team-building workshops for companies like Mecedes-Benz. They came to me to develop an arts-base curriculum, where their clients would develop team skills through various arts experiences. Here's the thing: once the curriculum was developed, they would then hire various artists to teach the workshops, pay them a reasonable amount (for an artist, it would sound like a lot), but charge the client a helluva lot more than they would be paying the artists. As is almost always the case, the middle man is the one who makes all the money. And so I asked myself: why couldn't a theatre tribe bypass the middleman and do the workshops themselves? These could be team-building workshops, public speaking courses, mediation workshops using Boal techniques. There are SO MANY things that theatre people can teach that are valuable to the corporate world.

But wait a minute. Do I really want to contribute to Corporate America? Hell yes I do. I consider the money I make to be the redistribution of income that our paltry income tax system doesn't take care of. I consider this a contribution being made to the theatre, but instead of having to go hat in hand, we have them come to us wanting our product. What a great reversal!

There are other things we could to to "and then." After-school programs, theatre related or otherwise, in the theatre's space. A coffee and baked goods business that delivers stuff to businesses. Acting classes for home schooled children or retirees. Yoga or Alexander taught by a company member that is trained in that area. Word processing, medical or legal transcription. The list is limited only by the imagination and skills of the tribe.

So instead of having to beg for additional income through grants and subsidy, you're in control of income; instead of working a day job, the theatre provides the day job. And if you're not losing a cut to the middle man, then the amount of time necessary to make the same amount of money is reduced substantially.

And the best part is that the theatre can manage the schedule to fit what's happening onstage. Let's say you're rehearsing a play in which Buffy is playing a HUGE role, but Skipper is only in one scene. Well, for a while Skipper can carry a larger load of "and then." Then later, when Buffy is freed up and Skipper is swamped directing, Buffy can step up and do more "and then."

All money earned by these activities goes to the theatre, not to the individuals. And just like Shakespeare, at the end of the day you divvy up the profits equally.

OK, that's enough for today. I know that at first this will probably sound crazy, but I urge you to think about it a bit more. Is there a way that this might work? Are there adjustments that need to be made to the model to make it function more smoothly? Remember, I'm relying on you readers to help me fine tune -- this is only a first draft!

Get To Know Each Other

I've been getting a few emails and comments from readers who are finding the idea of theatre tribes intriguing, and that makes me very happy! It also made me realize that there needs to be a place where you all can meet each other and talk about your ideas, struggles, and dreams -- and maybe find people who share your vision that you might join up with. To help get this going, I have created a new private website on Ning that you can join and spend some time networking. This would be particularly worthwhile for people who have been reading blogs, but been reluctant to enter the public fray. This website will be private and much kinder and gentler than the theatrosphere. If you'd like to receive an invitation to join this website (which carries no obligations), email me at walt828 at gmail dot com.

On Cows, Pastures, and Theatres

Over on Don Hall's blog, an exciting exchange has developed over the reasons for creating a company, and the approach to doping so. Adam wrote:
When I left Congo Square my desire was to start a theatre. For many artists, this desire and passion alone would have been enough to call a few friends and get the ball rollin'

But I'm a business guy, so it wasn't.

Instead I had to ask myself some additional questions:

1. Was there really a need for another theatre? Or to put it another way . . . was there a niche in the market that wasn't being adequately served?

2. Did I have any desire to produce art for this underserved niche?

3. Based on my current understanding of the nonprofit market, did I think I would be able to put together the resources (funding, Board, staff, etc.) to pull this off in a reasonable amount of time?

Once I answered those questions probably not, maybe and no respectively I put my theatre idea on hold. The timing wasn't right. That doesn't mean it will never happen though.

To which Paul Rekk responded:

Actually, Adam, if this is question #1, odds are that it does in fact mean it will never happen. At least not in Chicago in any of our lifetimes.

The problem I have with the mission-based/artist-based fork that I'm seeing created is that things ain't nearly that compartmentalized. Theatre isn't like most art forms -- if the work a painter envisions isn't being painted by anyone else, the solution is easy: paint it yourself. The analogy would follow that if the work a theatre artist envisions isn't being put up anywhere else that they should do it themselves. But that process is a little more involved. Classifying a company created for those reasons as created for the artists or (let's just lay these subtexts bare) selfish and ego-driven? I can agree with that. (Not that I'm saying it's necessarily a bad thing.)

But that doesn't mean the artists involved are seeing stars or chasing the buck. They just want to see (and be a part of) great art. Great art that they don't see anyone else doing. And if other people get to see and be a part of it too, well, that's a hundred times better.

To me, that company is touching much closer to the core purpose of theatre than anyone whose first question is which underserved niche they're going to feed. That approach is just as misguided and bloodless as the fame-chasers. On the one side you're providing entertainment, on the other a social service. The magic of theatre is that it can be one, both, or neither of those, but it has to land somewhere in the middle.
Maybe we can back into this through another door. I know I keep referencing Made to Stick on my blog, but there was an interesting section in it that pertains to the artist-driven/mission-driven question, it seems to me. It was about a meeting an organization devoted to the preservation of duo piano music had with a potential funding group. Adam also wrote about this on the Mission Paradox blog back on March 11 2007. I'll borrow his summary:

The head of the Duo Piano Group (a nonprofit arts group) gives this answer:

Duo Piano Group: We exist to protect, perserve and promote the music of duo piano.

The author asks a question

Author: Why is it important to protect the music of duo piano?

Duo Piano Group: Well, not much duo piano is being performed anymore. We want to keep it from dying out.

The people in the room where not impressed by this answer, as this direct quote from the book (page 200) reveals:

"The conversation went around in circles without making much progress in making the people in the room care about the duo piano as an art form. Finally one of the participants chimed in: I don't want to be rude but would the world be a less rich place if duo piano music disappeared entirely?"

Here's how the Duo Piano Group responded to this question:

Duo Piano Group (Clearly taken aback): Wow . . . The piano is this magnificent instrument. It was created to put the entire range and tonal quality of the whole orchestra under the control of one performer. When you put two of these instruments together . . . it's like having the sound of the orchestra but the intimacy of chamber music.

I think if you want to form a theatre company, you have to ask yourself the hard question these people were asked: Would the world be a less rich place if your theatre didn't exist? If you can't say yes to this, if you can't define what you do in a powerful enough and unique enough terms that its non-existence would make the world (or perhaps more to the point, your community) a lesser place, then you shouldn't do it.

But the nature of your answer is greatly influenced by the content. If you are in a city that is not already saturated with dozens or even hundreds of theatres, simply providing a quality theatre experience may be enough (even then, I'm not so sure); but if you are in a place like Chicago or New York or LA or San Francisco or Seattle or Minneapolis that has an established and thriving theatre scene, then it is absolutely crucial that you be clear about what you are adding, because the theatre audience in any place is a finite resource.

I am reminded of Garret Hardin's 1968 essay "Tragedy of the Commons," which is very popular among environmentalists, and which I think has great applicability to this situation. R. De Young describes it:

Hardin's parable involves a pasture "open to all." He asks us to imagine the grazing of animals on a common ground. Individuals are motivated to add to their flocks to increase personal wealth. Yet, every animal added to the total degrades the commons a small amount. Although the degradation for each additional animal is small relative to the gain in wealth for the owner, if all owners follow this pattern the commons will ultimately be destroyed. And, being rational actors, each owner ads to their flock: Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit - in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons.
In many ways, the audience for theatre in any particular city is like Hardin's open pasture. Each new theatre draws on that audience. At first, there are few cows (theatres) and lots of pasture (s[ectators), so the addition of another cow or two is not a problem -- in fact, the grass grows more readily when it is eaten by cows (see The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -- the fascinating section called "Pastoral: Grass") . But at a certain point, there are enough cows and things reach a tipping point (h/t Malcolm Gladwell). Suddenly there are more cows than grass, and you damned well better have a good reason to add to the herd. Like maybe your cow is purple instead of brown (h/t to Seth Godin).

The point is that in a crowded theatre scene, just wanting to have a cow of your own isn't enough. Your cow needs to be special in some way. Otherwise do one of two things: don't add to the herd, or take your cow to a pasture that has fewer cows!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Get Yourself a Tribe

OK, so if you have thought about it long and hard, and you think you are someone who can live without the Nylachi dream of fame and fortune, then your next step is to find other people who share this orientation. You need a company, or what Daniel Quinn (Ishmael) calls an "occupational tribe" in his book Beyond Civilization. (You might want to check out my tribalism posts here, here and here to get a better understanding.) So your next hurdle, once you have abandoned the fame and fortune idea, is to also abandon the freelancer mindset. From now on, you are part of a tribe, a company, an ensemble. No more going from job to job and letting other people determine what plays are worth doing and what nitch you do or don't fill. Now, you and your fellow ensemble members are in charge. If this doesn't appeal to you, then for God's sake stay in Nylachi, where a freelancer can make a career.

What goes along with this is a simple rule: in order to be valuable to a tribe, you need to be able to do more than one thing. In other words, you must have something to offer that extends the tribe's earning power. And acting alone ain't enough. Or directing, or designing. That's your entry fee. You also have to have an "and then." "I'm an actor AND THEN I also can write killer grants." "I'm a director AND THEN I can also serve as a consultant for businesses looking for team-building workshops." "I'm a designer AND THEN I can create great posters, ads, and websites." AND THEN is the key, and ideally the skill either saves money or brings in additional money. And the amount must be significant enough to balance out the addition of another mouth to the tribe. Think of Shakespeare: he was a playwright AND THEN he also acted, and by all accounts he also managed the Globe in which he was a part owner. There was no specialization. Sure, if he wasn't playing Prospero he might have written more plays. But if he wasn't playing Propser (or Hamlet's father's ghost), the King's Men might not have been able to make ends meet, the Globe might have folded, and then how many plays of his would we have? So in this model, everybody has to have at least two specialties, and also pitch in with the grunt work. There are no "junior members" who are trying to get a foot onstage by doing the "crap jobs" around the theatre; everybody is a full member from the moment they become part of the group, and the group is as devoted to keeping each member artistically fulfilled as each member should be devoted to keeping the group afloat. As Quinn notes, "A group that doesn't take good care of its members is a group that doesn't command much loyalty (and probably won't last long)."

Now, before you get to wondering how you are going to do all this AND hold a day job -- you're not. The idea is to be able to generate enough income from all sources for everyone to live on. This means thinking in terms of more than ticket sales. It is the AND THEN factor. I will talk about this AND THEN factor in a later post. For now, suffice to say that you need to choose your fellow company members wisely, thinking not only in terms of their primary theatre talent, but also giving equal weight (yes, I did say equal weight) to what else they bring to the table that will extend the theatre's earning power. There are no divas in tribes. An actress may be the next Meryl Streep, but if all she can do is act and she's not willing to pitch in in another area, then pass her by.

I know this is counter-intuitive. We have been brought up to think that talent is the one and only consideration. But I am saying it ain't so. In fact, I would willingly take someone with less raw talent who has a true commitment to the ensemble idea over the uber-talented diva any day of the week. People get more competent the more they work, but a theatre that can't make ends meet puts everybody out of work.

So step 2: get yourself a tribe of multi-talented people who all share the non-fame-and-fortune orientation.

International Culture Lab On Board

Folks -- keep an eye on the International Culture Lab blog, which will be participating in the explorations happening here.

And while you're at it, check out Don Hall's latest post "Like Square Pegs in Round Holes" and do some serious thinking about what he says. Is it possible, or even desirable, for theatre artists to focus only on creating art?

Joy and Pain

A tangent: teaching acting. If I were setting up an acting curriculum, I would have students spend the first semester watching the following video and trying to reproduce it themselves. Watch:




I'd have students pay particular attention to the older brother -- how he clearly went from laughing to surprise at how much it hurt to the realization that it was hurting A LOT - and then back to neutral again when his attention is drawn to the TV! It seems to me that this is the foundation of all great acting: portraying clearly on one's face and in one's body the changing thoughts and emotions of a character. Then I would have students spend time paying attention to the baby -- the pure joy that goes across his face.

Sounds easy, right? I mean, how much time would this take for students to accomplish? Well, watch some attempts, and compare them to the original:



And this:



It's not easy. But it is crucial to acting. If you watch one of the first scenes of The Godfather, you will see what I mean. When a petitioner whispers a request into Marlon Brando's ear, you can watch every word he says appear on Brando's face. Just like the kid in the YouTube video. To me, this is the essence of acting, whether tragedy or comedy. Work on this first, before you start getting scenes from plays to work on -- just focus on thinking thoughts and expressing them clearly and with commitment. Once you have experienced that, then you might start doing scenes.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Obama's Arts Policy

Courtesy the Community Arts Network blog:

http://www.communityarts.net/blog/archives/2008/01/barack_obamas_a.php

Guardian Article

Thanks to Sarah McLellan for forwarding this article from the Guardian on "Rural Theatre's Radical Force."

Fear of Falling Off the Map

OK, let's start exploring the ins and outs of a new model for regional theatre, keeping in mind the goals described in the post above. From here on out, my steps will be more tentative, since we will be going in new directions where our thought experiments may be contradicted by so-called Conventional Wisdom. While there may be some data that we can use to bolster our ideas, and I will try to locate data to do that, some of what follows may be based on conjecture. All I can ask is that you give the conjecture a fighting chance in the war against Conventional Wisdom. (If you want to see how Conventional Wisdom works against innovation, read Jason Grote's "Long Overdue Response on New Play Development," paying particular attention to the reasons offered as to why his play 1001 couldn't succeed outside of Denver.)

The first hurdle we have to deal with is the fear of regionalism. For instance, Jason worries about "falling off the map" if he leaves NYC. It is a real concern if one holds certain dreams.

So my first question for those who might be considering the ideas that will be developed here is: What are your personal goals as an artist? Would you be willing to "fall off the map" if, by doing so, you were able to have a life in which you earned a reasonable living -- let's say, a salary similar to a professor at a small state school that would make you comfortably middle class -- and you had the opportunity to do theatre work consistently and could control your own artistic career? In other words, would you be willing to give up the dream of fame and sudden riches for a secure salary and the ability to do work you care about on a consistent basis?

Think about this carefully, because it isn't an easy question to answer. Most of us are brought up over the years to conceive of our work in terms of fame and fortune, rather than day-to-day existence. Even those of us who are most committed to a vision of regional theatre likely harbor dreams of national recognition (this blog, for instance, is read mostly by non-Asheville people -- if I am so committed to my region, why am I spending time writing for national distribution? The dream of national recognition is powerful!)

This question, which must be answered by each individual artist, lies at the center of the struggle for healthy regional theatres. I would be willing to bet that all those companies that people point to as examples of how companies inevitably fall apart and break up did so because many of the members could not let go of dreams of fame and fortune. Herbert Blau, whose bookThe Impossible Theatre: A Manifesto about the creation of The Actor's Workshop in San Francisco starts with this sentence: "The purpose of this book is to talk up a revolution," and throughout Blau committed with almost religious fervency to Decentralization. But he closed up shop and moved himself and most of his company to NYC in mid-season when Lincoln Center came calling in the 1960s. It wasn't enough for him to do the work in SF, he needed to save Broadway. And that's another aspect of the Cinderella Myth: it may not be about your own personal fame and fortune, but a desire to save the world and throw the moneychangers out of the temple of art. It's a powerful mythological tale, the Cinderella Story, and artists put up with a lot of financial insecurity and personal frustration by subscribing to that pattern.

But unless you can give it up, unless you can focus on the work as an end in itself and not as a means to an end of fame and fortune, unless you can find your heart's joy in the creation of theatre with little thought of being "discovered" by "Important People," then this model is not for you. You must commit to the idea that "small is beautiful," and that the local is more important than the global. If you can't, then stick with the status quo.

And that is OK. I have great respect for those who slave away against high odds in pursuit of their own personal dream. Everybody doesn't need to commit to the same dream. We're not looking to wipe out the current model and replace it with the tyranny of our own. We just want to create an alternative that fits those who share differing values and dreams. If you are one of those people who think they could be happy working outside of Nylachi as long as there was some level of financial security (otherwise, why do it, right? You can be on the edge of financial disaster in Nylachi and at least have the dream of wealth and fame to keep you going, but to be on the edge of financial disaster in Missoula MT is another thing entirely), then keep reading, because that's our goal.

But the first hurdle is letting go of the fear of "falling off the map." Can you do it?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Draw a Line

For the past month or so, I have used most of my posts to explore the downside of the current regional theatre model. I have alternated data with history, and history with rants (Geezer rants, in Nick's memorable term) in my attempt to create a clear picture of the reasons why we would from an attempt to explore alternatives.

It is my impression that many of my readers have followed my arguments, and acknowledge many of the problems I mention, even if they personally prefer working within the status quo. After a month, I think I need to move on from the description of problems to the development of solutions. This is a much different project. It is fairly easy to describe what one is against, but much more of a challenge to describe what one is for. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step if the discussion is to progress beyond simply rehearsing the same kvetches that have been heard in bars and coffee shops for years.

So draw a line in your mind at this post. While there may be times when I will discuss what is wrong with the current system, my focus from her on will try to remain on possibilities and solutions. This will require that you read me in an entirely different way; you must join me as a collaborator.

Over the coming weeks, I will start developing some approaches and models that might help to achieve the overall goals. Some will, no doubt, strike some of you as misguided, and it is my hope that you will use my comments box to explain why. I ask only one thing: that you not base your reaction wholly on your own preferences writ large. If, for instance, I make a case for creating theatres in smaller cities, I hope you will not tell me that you would never do that because you just love big cities. That's a personal preference, and it is admirable that you are clear about your own life choices. I have no problem with that, and applaud you with enthusiasm. But there may be others who do not share your preference, and to use it as a reason for questioning the efficacy of a proposal, or even worse, to universalize your own preference as representing "most theatre people" ("I would never leave New York for a smaller town, and I think most theatre people share my aversion") is simply unhelpful. As Sir Toby says in Twelfth Night, "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

Also, I will be posting things in a very preliminary stage -- very little will be polished or completely thought through. That is where you can help me to fine tune, or even start over completely if the medicine is worse than the disease. This will help enormously.

So the goals:

We will be working to create a model for theatre that does the following:

1. Gives theatre artists as a group control over the development of their artistic lives.

2. Provides sufficient opportunities for creative activity to help develop skills and vision.

3. Encourages a more even distribution of professional theatre in areas that have been historically underserved.

4. Allows people interested in focusing primarily on live theatre the means to do so.

5. Promotes a standard of living that provides individual security and increases lifestyle options.

6. Contributes to the development of distinctively American theatre and theatre artists.

Other goals may arise as this discovery process continues, but those will suffice at this stage. Some of the strategies that will be used to develop these models will include those listed to the right:
  1. Decentralization
  2. Localization
  3. Strengthening the artist-audience relationship
  4. Making a positive contribution to one's community
I would also add that part of my focus will be on the development of an educational model that could promote the knowledge and skills necessary to work within this model.

I hope you will join me as partners in this quest for a new theatre.

Monday, February 04, 2008

On Demonizing Tyrone Guthrie

Last Wednesday, I wrote a post called "Betrayal of the Regional Theatre Movement -- The Guthrie," in which is posted a comparison of Margo Jones' passionate commitment to the production of new plays and development of contemporary playwrights with Guthrie's commitment to classics that were at least fifty years old. Obviously, I portrayed the latter as a betrayal. As Tony rightly pointed out, Guthrie cannot be blamed for all those Artistic Directors who have continued his policies to this day. We recreate reality every day by our behavior, and Guthrie only headed the theatre named after him for two short years and then he moved on.

To call Guthrie's policy a betrayal is perhaps too strong -- it implies a level of conscious dastardliness that is undeserved. It is important to remember -- and I should have pointed this out -- that when Guthrie was building that theatre, the American theatre was almost wholly committed to the production of new plays. In many ways, Guthrie's commitment to classics represented a rejection of mainstream theatrical practice, and was (at least to some extent) a revolutionary act. His artistic policy represented a turning point in the American theatre. Where previously there had been only a one way street, Guthrie created a crossroads where a variety of decisions could be made: all new plays (Broadway), a mix of new and classic (Margo Jones and those who followed her example in Houston and Washington DC), and all classics (Guthrie).

What tilted the scales was the enormous amount of media attention Guthrie received as compared to other such theatres. This attention came because he was a celebrity, as were Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and George Grizzard, and because his was not an "acorn" theatre that grew in small increments over a period of years, but rather was born a full-grown oak in a beautiful and unique multi-million dollar theatre. In short, the media hook was the glamor of the theatre, not in the artistic ideas or even in the plays that were produced. Without that glamor, the Guthrie would never have become the 900 lb-gorilla of the regional theatre movement, and there might be a better mix of artistic policies around.

But it did have that glamor, and it's example did become dominant, and once he had laid out that pathway it became much easier for everyone to simply follow along in the footsteps that he had blazed through the Minneapolis snow.

Today, Guthrie's model is dominant, and it is what needs to be revolted against in the same way that he revolted against the Broadway model.