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January 21, 2010


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Scott Walters

Yes, and the much-desired younger audience is so afraid of theatre that they won't go in the doors. Of course not EVERY member of the Boomer generation marched on selma, in the same way that not EVERY member of the younger generation is patient with "formal experimentation" (proof: try reading the papers written by Intro to Theatre students who attend a play with "formal experimentation"). Stereotypes work both ways: idealized and demonized.


Isaac and Scott -- as a boomer theatre journalist in the lively young theatre world of Austin, Texas, I've posted the body of this January 21 assertion-and-response at my website, AustinLiveTheatre.com. My heart's with Scott but my head's with Isaac, based on my observations here. regards, Michael Meigs


Okay. Fine.

So why the fuck aren't this generation of alterkockers writing their own plays?

If I were in a mostly-black sports audience, why wouldn't I demand black players on the team?

If I were a churchgoing person, why not demand my plays have quotes from the Bible? (SFX: Tyler Perry checking his offshore accounts....)

If we're so damn hungry to see our own experiences on stage, why aren't *they* hungry to write and stage theirs?

What cultural inertia exists so older artists don't have their own theatres?

Why not see this as a diversity issue, for the audience we have?


I just wonder why the people who want theatre to be different don't just go make their own?

Jason Grote

They do, Matt. It's called "comedy." If anyone wants to see where the young audiences are, go to a UCB theater on any given evening; they're on line out the door.

But I agree that ageism is a red herring. Isaac, our fiftysomething mutual pal Michael of Brazen Head books once told me that he used to subscribe to the Public but stopped going because it was expensive, dull, and predictable -- the same reason young people don't go.

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