Sean, in the comments to this post about the Fringe writes:
anyone who thinks the Fringe is making New York theater worse, who thinks it's even in the top 25 things making New York theater worse... I guess I'd ask that you work within the system at least once before making that judgment.I'm inclined to agree. In fact, I'll go even further... I wouldn't put the Fringe in the list of Top 25 Things That Negatively Affect Indie Theatre (although I would probably put "Festival Glut" on there). I should also note that I don't think the Fringe harms NYC theatre at all actually, I just think it's a strange beast and that maybe, 12 years in, could use some rethinking in terms of what purpose it serves today. Anyway... still, this lead me to thinking what are the 25 Biggest Problems in Indie Theatre.
Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
(1) Since it's mentioned above: Festival Glut
(2) Lack of adequate rehearsal time. An off-broadway show rehearses for roughly 30-40 hours a week and rehearses during the day while previewing. The show I'm directing right now will have 80 hours of rehearsal total.
(3) Real Estate Part 1: Theater Rental costs
(4) Real Estate Part 2: Affordable good rehearsal spaces
(5) The current showcase code makes remounting and/or extending shows very difficult
(6) Lack of good stage managers (although I've been lucky in this regard lately and if anyone needs recommendations, shoot me an e-mail)
Feel free to add to the list. I'm not trying to have a bitch session, I'm honestly interested in what the issues are and how we could better address them.
We'll have a follow-up post talking about the strengths of indie theatre later this week.