Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artistic Director or Pope

People who attain the position of Artistic Director, especially at a prestigious company, rarely give up their seat. And why would you? If the company is good enough you will have the ability to take advantage of a production budget to create the art that you want to create. But is that really what its all about? So many times theatre companies assume the personalities of their leaders. If there ever is a changing of the guard, it is usually because the board of directors see the need to take the company in a new direction.

Theatre companies, in theory, are governed by a mission statement. So why is it that the profile of the Artistic Director is often more important to the company's identity than the values that have been set down in writing?

And for the most part, the position belongs to one individual until they are willing to give it up. There of course are obvious exceptions, but they are exceptions and not the norm. What does a company or even the individual gain from being in the same place? Which is the better format: a constant set of new ideas and perspective gained by a planned change and rotation of leadership or the stability of one vision taking the company towards one goal?

There are pros and cons for both, but the more disturbing thing is there is not the same fear and drive that a CEO holds if his or her company isn't making the profit the shareholders expect. How often are Artistic Directors held accountable for a decrease in ticket sales, bad reviews, or lack of awards? Is this the reason that art can't compete as well on a commercial level? Or does commercialism simply defeat the creative process all together?

There are so many sides on this issue. Take a few moments to share your ideas and expand the scope of the discussion.

Happy Birthday: Euripides (480 B.C. - 406 B.C.)

No comments:

Post a Comment