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June 05, 2008

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Scott Walters

Thanks for doing this, Isaac. From the title of your post, I get a sense that you felt pretty good about the discussion. While it is expecting too much to think that a group as diverse as that one would come to some sort of agreement in such a short amount of time, I wonder whether you felt that the conversation revealed any new ideas or surprising observations? Also, how long did the discussion go on, and how involved was the audience (and how large)?

SarahMcL

TCG's TheatreFacts should be coming out pretty soon, and will have a lot of information about which theatres have salaried resident acting companies. Of course, not every theatre in the US is a TCG member, and not every TCG member theatre opts-in to the fiscal survey used to create TheatreFacts, but it's a good place to start.

And, of course, that data doesn't include companies that have more informal groups of actors/actresses that are just consistently employed by the company. Like Steppenwolf - do they really have a resident company?

Mark

Sarah makes a good point, namely that there's a difference between just naming an ensemble (Steppenwolf, Atlantic) and literally keeping those people on salary...uh, Milwaukee Rep, I think?

Malachy Walsh

Interesting stuff.

Wondering if you could clarify points 4 and 6.

In 4, I guess I don't quite understand Nicola's point as you've presented it. Did he mean that once upon a time regional theatre spoke for points of view not in a more monolithic media world and that's no longer necessary... or that it's impossible to speak for everyone now... or that you can't be universal... ?

In 6, I don't get why capitalism is a problem from the example about older actors being reluctant to join a company... what does this mean? how is it related to capitalism? as opposed to changing ideas about what to do with your life... etc.

isaac

good questions, let me clarify:

Jim's point in #4 Was that there was a time with a really dominant mass culture. Around the late 1960s, this fragmented (with good reason) and now there is no "universal" really, there's a series of fragmented smaller cultures.

#6: The problem is retention, given that most actors think of themselves as individual businesspeople and are less likely to want to join into something when they could hold out for larger more individualized gains. Mike's response (Essentially) was that if someone leaves you find someone else.

I should also say that the post was a list of what struck me NOT things I agree with.

Malachy Walsh

I should also say that the post was a list of what struck me NOT things I agree with. -

- Totally understood. It sounds like it was an interesting discussion and thanks for the recap. And the clarifications.

RLewis

just want to second your points on (10), and underscore David's call for bolder playwriting (how did downtown artists water down Saved(-!)= does something happen when playwrights reach the bigtime?).

also, great that you cite some of Morgan's great insights - girl knows what she speakin' 'bout. but good thing Russell couldn't make it - i was getting embarrassed in the audience just thinking that would have made it 7 white men and only 1 white woman. no color.

lastly, did Sarah above say that TCG is spending big time and money putting together some Theater Facts that really will not go deep enough to account for the peculiar state of current resident co's, and thus, will not be Facts at all?

Mike Daisey

"but good thing Russell couldn't make it - i was getting embarrassed in the audience just thinking that would have made it 7 white men and only 1 white woman. no color."

I emailed an open invitation via my mailing list a week before I announced the roundtables for those who wished to add their voices.

RLewis

"I emailed an open invitation via my mailing list..."

Mike, were that all it took the world would be a perfect place. Thank goodness for Jane Houdyshell. Great last panel, too, but another one-for. Kudos requires just a lil' more effort. The work is terrific and appreciated, but your mailing list needs help. Next time email me - at the least I could offer a plethora of diversity.

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