I was out with my buddy Lonnie tonight. Lonnie is kind of like my Obi-Wan Kenobi, wise, kind (well, unless he's doling out the bourbon), and looks snappy in a robe (okay, I'm just assuming that part. His girlfriend can confirm.). We see shows together, talk shop, kick around ideas. He's worked at a bunch of theatres, as a G.M. or Managing Director, lived all over the country. He's good people and a good person to bounce ideas off of. Tonight was no difference.
We started off talking about the 2011 RSC residence that everyone is talking about and that led into a general discussion of big ideas, big vision. I know we're super-sick of talking about Joe Papp, but he was undeniably a man of vision. The New York Shakespeare Festival was a Big Idea. Where are the new Big Ideas now?
One of the things Lonnie mentioned that I'd never thought of before is that we measure our theatres by their physical size, by the number of seats. That's how we draw our distinctions. Grant applications ask for budgets, production lists, but how do we think about vision? There's a gross national happiness index...what goes into a theatre's vision index?