Monday, July 26, 2010

Theater Appreciation

There was a great quote in on of the articles of the Yale's most recent issue of Theatre. The article is talking about an experimental theater production in New York and all the cultural commentary and structural analysis. However, the overall point becomes accessibility - and it's a notion that we all must consider as we produce our art and thing about who is going to come in to participate in its creation:

"...each is, in its way, elitist: Broadway show reach thousands of people, but at astronomical ticket prices. 'Alternative' theater downton is cheaper but rarely reaches audiences who haven't spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the expensive liberal-arts educations needed to appreciate its ironic stances. Then, too, the juxtaposition of 'high' and 'low' art is itself an inherited - perhaps, by now, subconscious - postmodern aesthetic strategy, once a way to demolish cultural barriers but now more or less a common denominator of downtown performance."
Miriam Felton-Dansky

Felton-Dansky has wonderfully hit upon the conundrum of arts in this country. And although she is talking about New York, we can easily see the same divisions here in Chicago.

So the question remains how do we make theater accessible to all while not playing to the lowest common-denominator and keeping the ticket prices affordable? And this answer is not all about the material being performed on-stage. Some of this question is marketing, mission and key messages as well.

Happy Birthday:
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

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