Monday, April 27, 2009

NEA New Play Development Program hosted by Arena Stage: Is "Regional" A Pejorative Term?:

I think what people are reacting to, fundamentally, in this call to re-regionalize the regional theater, is a sense that many regional theaters, those which established the movement and those which followed to sustain and build on it, have somehow become more satellites than regions. That they are, as Jodi implies and many others assert directly, now orbiting the New York marketplace like moons, reflecting its heat but generating none of their own. I hear from artists, ensembles, and small producers all over the country (including that micro-region: Manhattan) that they feel we're in a period where, to paraphrase one of the responders at the Humana Convening, "we're shipping the same ten plays around the country and every theater's season looks more alike than distinct."  This sentiment is particularly acute among new play practitioners, whether playwrights, play labs, ensembles, or new play producers.