Monday, January 14, 2013

A Little Addition to the New Little Theatre Movement

So earlier in the month I posted about what the New Little Theatre Movement should look like. And while this country is desperately in need of a new movement I thought that there could be a few more additions to my previous wish list. This is still an aesthetic that I'm still trying to tweak and perfect for my own art so there may be several posts later on where I revise and edit my new theories.

This is how the face of the theatre industry is changed, by theatre artists creating new formats and ways of doing things in the face of a changing society. Shakespeare's Globe doesn't work as a widespread business model anymore so we don't do it. And the models that we create today won't last for our grandchildren. If you don't invest in new forms and experimentation and theories then you're really investing in a museum. And this world doesn't need more museum theatre.

So here's my additions to the list of what I want in a New Theatre Movement. Here we go.

  • Invest in Residencies and Apprentices not Auditions and Submissions: The era where you work with one theater for one month and move on for the next works for some. But unless we can start letting all artists know that we can support them they cannot be expected to grow. A young artist won't grow or start developing his artistic style or vision if he's afraid of where he's going to live or what he's going to eat while he does it. 
  • Treat Theatre more Like Blogging: In today's world you have to have a huge resume and some awards before anyone wants anything to do with you. You have to have an audition just to learn about theatre. But in the blogging world anyone can start a blog...anyone can try one out and decide whether they like it or not and then reach out to the blogging community to learn more and get better. Through open mic style events like No Shame and more medium sized opportunities like Ten Minute Play Festivals and Fringes a fledgling artist can gain confidence through experience and be attached to a mentor for more hands on training. 
  • Encourage Splinter Groups: While new artists are cutting their teeth on the art they're going to be a valuable asset to the company. When they grow up under your tutelage they're going to have their own dreams and goals and try to work with other groups or continue their education at a university. Encourage them to go out and start their own company or career and let them know that they always have a home with you. 
  • Mix the Arts Up: This past Wednesday I performed and hosted a Talent Show at my church. There were dancers, musicians, comedians, and gymnasts, even gallery showings from on of our resident painters. The audience didn't care that we were mixing things up they just enjoyed a good show. Most performing artists have all the same business problems and the first on their list is they need places to perform and an audience to be there. Mix up with other groups and keep your stage open to artists from all the arts. A bigger arts community all around is beneficial to everyone!
So what new formats of the arts are you seeing out there? Are there any new "movements" forming out there? Be sure to leave me a comment below.

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