From RLewis, in the comments:
You say that you don't give into despair, but your blog does its best to spread despair to anyone who'll read. Eventually, that has the very effect that you purport to be against. Have you checked out Sheila C.'s blog? She doesn't seem so disgruntled. Any guess why? Institutions of all different sizes are doing really great work, Sheila seems less concerned with their status, but if your problem is that it's not everyone's work, you're gonna be ranting till the end. How do we get the theatrosphere to be a place that supports and grows the theater community, instead of just constantly ragging on it? If you're not part of the solution....
Just...*sigh* Since it's worth saying, Sheila is awesome. Big fan of her work, her blog, her aura. Big ups to Sheila. And maybe I don't seem quite as satisfied as she does...because maybe I'm not. I don't have the writing gig on a TV show. I didn't get a great production this fall to rave reviews and accolades. And if that bitterness comes through, well, sorry. It is there and I try to keep this blog from being all "The way to make theatre good is to produce more of my plays!" That's not what I'm all about.
And since it apparently bears repeating, I'm not a Cassandra. I don't believe that live performed entertainment of scripted material is going to going to die out any time soon, if ever. I do not think that the theatre is endanger of losing all relevancy or becoming a quaint museum piece. I do, however, think that theatre can be more relevant than it is, be more vibrant and be more enjoyable for all, artists and patrons alike. The whole point of this endeavour is to make it better, make a better theatre culture, make a better theatre environment. I do not think the current status quo is working, either for the artists, staffs and boards involved or for the majority of patrons (or potential patrons). And I do think that our current non-profit producing and developing model is not working and we will need to investigate alternatives. That's what this is: an investigation of alternatives. With a little snark added to make it fun. (At least for me.)
And, I want to say this out loud and publicly, this whole "with us or against us" mentality is totally false, bogus, wrong and out of place. I mean that for RLewis and for Scott. It's not one thing or the other. I don't have to endlessly cheerlead for the system in order to keep it a "community" and I don't have to howl for its demise in order to be "honest." If I see something that doesn't work, I'm going to call it out. If I see something that does, I'm going to praise it. And if I see something that I disagree with, but works for some, I'm going to leave it alone. Not everyone wants to move to New York and go to work on Broadway, and not everyone wants to move to Indiana and do community theatre, so those shouldn't be the only choices or the only ideals.
The theatrosphere is full of varying voices, sometime rising in unison, sometimes falling into Babel, and that's a good thing. Sometime I'm massively inconsistent and that's also a good thing. This current NY theatre season is really great and exciting and there's a ton of good new things happening. And it hasn't escaped my notice that the theatrosphere, and the internet in general, and these discussions that we've all been having for the last five years are part of it. This is how change happens.
So...if you do read this and despair, well, read something else. I don't get paid for this and I don't need the hits. (I don't even keep track anymore.) No one should be despairing. We should be acting and pushing and finding what works for us. And then letting other people find what works for them. There's, what, 300 million people in this country now. That's a helluva a lot of an audience. I think we should stop worrying so much about your audience and think about ours.
Okay. I'm going to get a cup of tea or something and chill the frak out.