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January 31, 2010


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Scott Walters

Oh my. Really? We did all this reading and writing to end up at the old saw "there must be more money"? If that's what we came away with, I am very disappointed.

Josh James

I had a wild thought yesterday ... wouldn't it be interesting if, instead of making the public domain works of the plays of Shakesphere, Greeks, all free ... why not charge a small royalty for each ... then take that money from the royalties and put it into the development of new work in America?

Just a wild hair I had ... but why not?

Scott Walters

Oooohhhhhh! THAT'S what you meant. OK, you go. Yes, it is time for funders to use their money to actually LEAD, not just maintain. They lead anyway, because everyone falls into line in order to score grants -- a topic that deserves more examination in itself: mission drift in pursuit of the wild grant beast, or "whatever happened to self-reliance?"

Scott Walters

P. S. Thanks for writing CRADLE so many times. Maybe it will get me fired up to get that website finished...

Ian David Moss

I also didn't mean to suggest that "more money" is the only answer (though I don't think it should be ignored, either). Actually, I didn't really suggest any answers in my post...just pointed out the simple fact that expensive productions need to be paid for by somebody (even if it's the people involved in making it). Since one of the things playwrights seem to lament is the shrinking scale of their work, that seems relevant.

Not having had experience making theater in my lifetime (well, except for an acting career in high school that lasted for all of one show), it's hard for me to comment intelligently on the self-producing bandwagon. I know that story from music and can just say from experience that it's harder than it sounds. It's possible to make it work, but it requires either really dedicated partners with lots of time on their hands or a lot of spare change in the checking account (or, if you're in NYC, probably both). So I'm a little skeptical, but willing to be convinced.


While I do not disagree with your conclusion, it does make me think about: new changes to federal 990 requirements for companies that will make it harder for them to take risks, and the implementation of the Cultural Data Project that will drive funding even more toward the larger, established institutions.

These new hurdles seem to be flying over the heads of individual artists, but are sure to be part of the headwinds that your 'more money' suggestions will face.

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