Saturday, April 26, 2008

bring back the reps, really

The repertory system in American theater has lost its way, according to Mike Daisey's one-man show, *How Theater Failed America.*
Daisey points to how major regional theaters have bigger and bigger buildings, and are increasing their marketing staffs with employees who have nice salaries and benefits. Meanwhile, actors have to hop from theater to theater. Why not instead endow positions for particular actors, allowing them to perform varied roles at a single theater, and with some career stability? Daisey dismisses "the usual scapegoats: dried-up government financing, philistine audiences, television." Jason Zinoman's NYT Theater section article (4/20/08)quotes a couple of artistic directors who say that Daisey's ideas are unworkable.
Bobo wants to investigate levels of government subsidies of the arts in other developed countries. But then there's also the argument: Why should the arts be subsidized at all? Why shouldn't artists simply give people what's popular?

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