Sunday, April 27, 2008

Armchair Actorvist: Requiem For the Regionals, part one:

Again referencing the New York Times article, most major theaters confronted with this reversal cite diminished funding as their reason for discontinuing the practice of the resident company. Yet, as Mike Daisey, the star and creator of How Theater Failed America, points out, these theatres have huge marketing and development departments, peopled with employees well-paid and well-insured. Actors' salaries, (on the rare occasions actors have work) remain at union-mandated minimums.

The response to this show from the artistic directors who have examined it is predictable enough. In a nutshell, the actor has no idea what it takes to run a regional theatre, and has no business lecturing administrators on how to run their organizations.

Nicholas Martin, a high-profile director who has lately been running the Huntington Theater in Boston, sniffed, "Go run a theater and get back to me."

At the end of my current gig, I will be back on unemployment, at about 200 bucks a week. I have a request for Mr. Martin:

"Come be a regional theatre actor and get back to me."