Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Parabasis: More of the Corporatizing of the Nonprofit Model:

Mark Armstrong brings to our attention an interesting article by Charles McNulty which documents how Jack O'Brien was succeeded at the Old Globe by a CEO and (working underneath him) two artistic director. CEO/Executive Producer Spisto has final artistic say in programming at the Old Globe.

Mark writes:

The great dream of regional theater was that it was going to give artists the tools necessary to do their work and run their own businesses. But, when times get tough, the first things to go are always those pesky artists. First it was the repertory companies, then the resident directors and designers. Now the artistic directors are being moved aside or diminished, unless their commercial credentials are sufficient.

Mike Daisey discusses in How Theater Failed America the corporate model of theatrical governance and how the adoption of corporate values (constant growth over sustainability, downsizes and outsourcing of labor, etc) has hurt the regional theater movement. This is all of a piece with what Mark and Charles are talking about here, with the adoption of a CEO model of corporate governance.