Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year's, readers (or Meg).
I hope 2008 ended well for you and that 2009 brings health, wealth and many a good time.
I find something inherently false about New Year's resolutions - this isn't entirely my idea, but the more I think about it, the more I agree. If you REALLY wanted to make a change in your life, you'd make it regardless of what month it is. New Year's resolutions have a whiff of setting yourself up to fail, by setting up pipedreams on an arbitrary day with everyone else.
That being, said, January 1st is a little easier to remember than July 23, so why not set some turg-resolutions here and now? Apparently the trick to a good resolutions is to identify measurable, realistic goals. These aren't very good resolutions by those standards.
First, foremost, and the most obviously, I will write more frequently. Full stop.
Second, I will see more theatre - I will pay to see more theatre. I tend to be a bit of selective (I'm a snob) about what I will see, nevermind pay to see. This frugality is misplaced and doesn't make me a constructive member of the Boston Theatre Community.
Third, I will see more art, music, film and dance and write about it.
Don't think you are getting off that easily. Here are some resolutions I'd like to see for the Boston Theatre Community.
* I would like to see more new work. Brand, spanking new.
* I would like to see more collaboration between companies and between artistic disciplines.
* I would like to see theatres attempt to attract new audiences by trying out different work that might appeal outside their comfort zone.
* I would like audiences demand more from artists and artists demand more from audiences.

To a bold, new year. Salute.

1 comment:

w0lf said...

I am curious about how some of your theater values interplay. Specifically the fact that the arts should always work towards legitimization in combination with looking for more new work and diversification of audiences. Let me start out by saying that I agree on both points, and the complexities of the interplay are what I find interesting to explore.

It seems to me most people that are truly interested in making art out of theater would by definition like to be doing something new and interesting. The dynamic I've seen in Boston companies that I have any respect for is a model where there are staple projects that will reliably bring audiences, and then there are more risky pieces that are the art that the company really wants to make. The former tend to support the latter financially in a given season.

So A) I'm curious if you think thats a good model that should be further expanded, or if there is a different model you'd advocate.

The other question is in regards to production level theater professinals, and this starts to hit on Broadway. There has been a history of preferring predictable happy fun time work because Cats sells better than Sondheim... for some disgusting reason. BUT, in the last 5 years, we've started to see an incredible uptick in much more unique work that is getting great reviews, public acclaim and making profits. In the Heights, Spring Awakening, et cetera. Does that give you hope, in that if the mainest of mainstream theater is growing a little more creative, perhaps the spirit can spread to audiences who might become more supportive of independant theater?