Monday, September 07, 2009

I'm thankful for the warm and receptive audiences who came out for HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA.

Reception to the show has been interesting: incredibly warm from artists and's often that way with this show, but here I've had long, fantastic conversations with people I've just met, and the workers at the theaters in the city, from the technicians to the stage managers to the actors have been wonderful.

On the other hand, it has been cool to chilly from arts administrators running theaters in Philly. A number have made it clear that nothing in the monologue relates to anything in their world. I can only assume they are working in a better world than I am.

Or perhaps, more accurately, they live in a world untouched by the concerns I raise because they refuse to look--if you lock yourself up inside your tower and refuse to look outside, what I have to say may seem to have no relevance. After all, they never see these things, even though it's right in front of them. And if you feel powerless to amend the inequities, over time it's easier to just let your eyesight go.

Still, it's hard to appreciate that level of cognitive dissonance until you've actually seen it coming from people who honestly love the show, but do not understand that all of us in the theater are complicit.

It gives you the sense of how we lose track of the human thread in our institutions, despite the best of intentions.