Not to stay in the world of meta, and also not to single out the very excellent rlewis, but this comment here and other ones I've come across in the last couple of days need a bit of a response.
I think we've all often heard the argument that theatres need managers because artists don't have the skill sets/the right mindset/the interest to do the dirty work of management. It's usually broken down into artists=left-brain and manager=right brain. Someone's got to manage the money and deal with the business, the argument goes. Left to their own devices, artists can't manage the cash, so they should stick to the art stuff and let the business people stick to the business stuff.
Um. Not to put to fine a point on it (and at the risk of offending): bullshit. I call bullshit on that.
A while back, I met with a theatre consultant who said a very, very interesting thing: theatre artists are particularly skilled at providing a product on a hard deadline. We have our opening night and 95 times out of 100, we produce our product on deadline. You show me a designer who isn't aware of their budget, I'll show you a designer not worth their salt (going over their budget is another matter I'll get into below). Artists may be funky, they may be messy or even occasionally flighty, but they're not dumb (well, mostly not). That attitude is part of the false dichotomy and part of the disempowering of artists.
Art and money are intimately connected. The problem arises, I think, because the "artists" have different priorities than the "suits". (I really don't buy those distinctions.) Taking the designer example from above, you take a designer and ask them to build a budget for a show. They certainly can and they can probably stick to it. But give them a budget that doesn't share their priorities and that's a different matter.
Every artist is their own business. We often have to juggle not just the job of making our art, but the job of marketing ourselves, hustling for opportunities, the job of building connections and, for most of us, a "real world" job that pays the bills. We're constantly adjusting, budgeting, setting priorities, managing time and scheduling. We make investments in new technologies to help us, new techniques to make ourselves more marketable, new methods of reaching our audiences. We set our own priorities.
But once we're involved in a theatre, we're expected to relinquish all of that, and act like helpless children. We shown our sandbox, told to play there and not get the sand all over the place. All of the hustle, hard work, time-management, budgeting and marketing that got us through the door are chalked up to talent or luck or whatever and we're expected to leave that stuff at the door, so the grown-ups can work on our behalf.
I'm not saying that ALL artists have ALL the skills to be effective managers. But then again, not ALL managers are good at their job (and let me tell ya, I've got stories to curl your hair). I'm just disputing that we "need" managers because the artists can't/won't do it. We can, we're used to it, we have the skills. You just have to trust us.