Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Survey your audience ... or your imagination?

Michael Riedel in the N.Y. Post castigates the practice of audience surveys, as if musicals and plays aren't already workshopped to death and now require assembly by committees numbering in the thousands. Here's the most incisive comment, from Hal Prince on the current state of Broadway shows:
"We've become very good at giving people what they want. But there's got to be something more on the menu. The whole point should be to offer them something they didn't even know they wanted to see."
Artists and artistic directors should be leaders. Audiences didn't KNOW they had anything in common with people who want to kill presidents, or with domineering mothers, or with little old ladies from Appalachia. Show your audiences new facets of themselves.
(photo: Hal Prince with *Phantom* in Las Vegas)

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