Sunday, February 01, 2009

A really great post by Tom Loughlin in response (in part) to my posting the other day about MFA programs.

First, I have to say that I regret that I may have inadvertently depressed Mr. Loughlin, though I'm hoping that was more due to his reading
this Stanly Fish post, which is deeply depressing and somewhat infuriatingly throws its hands up and surrenders the future of higher education.

Mr. Loughlin offers a wonderful summation of why he teaches, and it's great. Leonard Jacobs
makes the point that his teachers from the past, and many other teachers of the arts, aren't writing spirited defenses like this.

Mr. Loughlin ends his post this way:

Then, perhaps, some defense needs to be mounted for the purpose of educational theatre. Not the current model of educational theatre, mind you. I have been critical of that on several occasions before Mr. Daisey raised the question. What needs defending is the value of educational theatre, and the potential it offers to all theatre artists if only we can re-shape the model.

I couldn't agree more: I must be clear that I have always been in favor of the full education and craft-based training of young artists—I would not be who I am today without that gift.

What I am specifically questioning is the current model, it's onerous costs to the artists, and its unreasonable fiscal expectations that actually make it harder for artists to survive.