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Showing posts from January 30, 2011

The Need for Theatre R & D

Kudos to Rocco Landesman for coming back to engage the field about the "supply and demand" issue he raised (to great gnashing of teeth) at the New Play Development Programconvening at Arena Stage. I have responded below a couple times to the issue, and no doubt will continue to do so -- after all, it is the raison d'etre for the Center for Rural Arts Development and Leadership Education (CRADLE). On Twitter, the hashtag being followed (suggested by Landesman himself, which again indicates to me that he wants a conversation -- again kudos) is #supplydemand. And while Howard Sherman may resist that hashtag ("Is it just me, or does everyone using NEA’s suggestion of #supplydemand seem accepting that this is equation to debate?"), I think that it does encapsulate the issues of audience development and geographical centralization that are important for artists to address.

What I want to discuss today, however, is an issue that I discussed briefly at the convening in…

More Thoughts on Rocco Landesman at the Arena

A few days ago, I wrote in response to Rocco Landesman's address to the New Play Development Program convening that began on Wednesday. In it, as has been widely reported, even by the New York Times, Rocco suggested that perhaps the nonprofit theatre system was "overbuilt," that demand is falling at the same time as supply is rising, and that we may want to consider "thinning the herd," as I put it on my blog post Wednesday night.

People didn't take too kindly to Rocco's statements. You could hear a collective bristle in the auditorium, one that increased in volume once the blogging world got involved. Trisha Mead called them "fighting words," which was then followed by posts saying that Rocco was calling for, in essence, Death Panels. J Holtam over at Parabasis, who like me was actually there, gets it about right when he writes, "But, I think, when you add up what Rocco was saying, it seems less like he's aiming at taking the little …