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August 11, 2009

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Jason Grote

Good points. To put it another way, there are lots of lame mainstream theaters whose programming I find utterly boring -- I don't care that they exist, any more than I care that there are 15 CSIs, or Mark Millar is doing another comic, or that rappers have fallen in love with auto-tune. I can just avoid it if I want. What sucks is when these places suck up all the resources, or are even openly hostile to experimentalists or experimentalism, which I've seen in a few cases, and which seems to be the subtext to this whole aggravating conversation. Do people really believe that Joe and Jane America stopped going to theater because they saw a Rich Maxwell piece at The Kitchen and it wigged them out? I know a LOT of people who never see theater, and to the extent most of them even know why they stopped going it was because (1) it was too expensive, and (2) it was too boring. Now, there's good boredom (see: John Cage) and bad boredom (I think we all know what that is), but I think they mean standard theater-boredom. And really, say what you will about The Wooster Group, but they're never going to be boring the way an Ibsen play can be boring. Which is to say slit-your-wrists boring.

As institutions go, my ideal is a theater like the Denver Center (not just because they produced 1001 and gave it a ton of support). They're a huge institution and vast majority of work they do is pretty standard mainstream fare, but they devote a lot of their resources to local-interest work, experimental work, and so on.

99

Give up blogging for the week.

cgeye

(spammer spill on aisle 1:42 PM)

Jason,
What's opened up the DCTC is more than the Summit, or Kent Thompson's instincts. DCTC now hires local actors and directors (e.g. Equity actors not exclusively employed by the theatre), which didn't happen so much, back in the day.

Also, they allow their actors to work in smaller Denver theatres during the Summer. Before, there was an unspoken rule that they had go to skitown theatres for summer work, which meant not seeing them rock out in works they were ready for, but seasonal choices would not allow.

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