Follow Friday: 19 Feb 2010


Some of us are in D.C. right now for the latest #newplay convening at Arena Stage. You can follow along with us on Twitter, on the New Play Blog and even through streaming video.

In the meantime and in-between time, here are the stories, posts, trends and folks we’ve been following this week…

Patrick Healy on staying local.
At the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, times have changed, and so has their focus. “The fact is, the artistic and business models of the regional theaters in the 20th century are over,” according to Peter DuBois, artistic director. “[G]iven the costs of creating theater and the competition for people’s time…I needed to rethink our relationship with our home community.”

Lyn Gardner on the emotional landscape.
When you go a show, you’re not just going to see a play. You’re going to a building, a theatre, a space pregnant with possibility. You’re entering a cocoon of story. You’re going to a home away from home, a place rich with memories, laughter, tears. You may be alone, you may go with friends or family. You may even find fellow theatregoers have become friends and family with enough time. You are part of a larger community.

Devon Smith on making connections.
One of the things we focus on here at 2am is how best to use social media in the world of theatre. Some media are harder than others, some take more time and even more creativity than just printing a postcard and letting it fly. And while some elements of Facebook are less useful than others–“maybe attending” is the new “no,” after all–there’s a little thing you should know about called Facebook Connect…

Marcie Stillman on having all you can eat in Seattle.
Here’s another story that states flat out that the regional theatre model that’s worked for decades simply doesn’t work any more. Subscriptions and donations just don’t cut it anymore for a lot of theatres at every level. But the ACT Theatre in Seattle may be on to something here, a membership system that–in the long run–might make better financial sense.

Katharine Hibbert on window-shopping for storefront theatre.
When some might see empty storefronts and the scorched earth of the recession, others see rooms waiting to be filled. And it’s not just small companies either. Even the Royal Court in London has taken over empty storefronts for shows. Do you know of an empty store downtown you could borrow for a few weeks? Longer? Just checking.

Chris Ashworth on the community as artsource.
Clearly, connecting with the immediate world around us is on everyone’s mind this week. But where is your greatest audience? Are you in the business of putting on your shows and hoping everyone will come? Or are you part of your community? Chris points out two examples of cool outreach programs in Baltimore that are drawing attention and crowds. Best of all, they’d work anywhere. Even your front stoop. Seriously.

The Fine Arts Fund on throwing pebbles into a lake.
A thriving arts sector creates a ripple effect through a neighborhood, a community. (There’s that word again.) We know this. But how do we let our business leaders, sponsors, patrons and local governments know this? A good first step is by reading–and downloading–this report by the Fine Arts Fund of Cincinnati on the importance of the “arts ripple effect.” And once you’ve read it, give it to your local legislators and let them know why it’s worth their time to read as well.

David Dower on long devision.
You’re not seeing things. This last entry is a rerun from last week, Dower’s explanation of “devised work” as a prologue to the next Arena Stage conversation today and tomorrow. If you’re curious about who’s going to be be there, check out who’s going to be in the room. We’ll be there, blogging at the official New Play blog, and live-tweeting at the official New Play twitter account. Join the conversation even if you’re not in D.C., and check out the live event “How the Devising’s Done: Theater Mavericks Talk Process” Saturday, Feb 20 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.

  • February 19, 2010