I'm surprised, in a list of almost entirely local, nonprofit productions, that you've included a touring Broadway musical at a commercially owned and operated venue. When audiences and funding already don't understand the difference between the two arts business structures, seeing a commercial operation in such a preview list without accompanying delineation makes our work educating harder.
Would it be possible for Hillsborough to get one too? Of course, it would just be Beer (Mystery, the Nickel, Mo's Bottle Shop), Pig (Hillsborough BBQ, Panciuto), and Veg (Eno River and Hillsborough Farmers Markets) but still...
So many thoughts about this piece wrestle in my head. I think back to Rocco's query of "too many theaters" and, more recently, Ralph Remington's keynote at the NCTC Producing Theater Gathering in July throwing the gauntlet of "the McDonalds-ization of American Theater", to the never-ending, oft-mauled Republican vs Democrat hashing of cutting public funding, and, by extension, lessening the perceived value of nonprofit arts organizations.
What is most important for those of us in the theater world to remember is that running these theaters takes three crucial elements: artistic vision, managerial skills, and fundraising prowess. Without all three, the sustainability of any arts organization is called into question. I believe it IS possible to create a small sustainable nonprofit arts organization, even to turn one around after twenty years of purely "let's put on a play" thinking. But all the players--from the visionary artistic director to the financially responsible governing board to the actors and audience members who vote with their dollars--must be willing to uphold all three elements.
Another fact check error: Deep Dish Theater Company produced Sarah Ruhl's THE CLEAN HOUSE in May of 2008. So while her work may not be done often, the ArtsCenter's EURYDICE was not the first of her shows done regionally. Unless by "regionally" you mean "Carrboro".
Disclaimer: I work for Deep Dish Theater. Award: IS HE DEAD for best ensemble. The show is written in such a way to highlight all players and throw jokes (good or bad, depending on your view) to everyone. We were blessed with a cast (Stephen Roten, Lormarev Jones, Tracey Phillips, John Boni, Thom Gradisher, Jon Karnofsky, Kit FitzSimons, Joyce Weiser, Sharlene Thomas, and C Delton Streeter) who embodied the sheer FUN of that play. It was a joy to watch, each and every night.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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