Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Playgoer: more on NYTW downsizing:

Look, we all know the challenges to running a solvent theatre company in NYC these days. And, yes, NYTW will continue to hire production staff, albeit as freelancers.

But these freelancers will probably be younger and less experiences. And the six individuals who had built careers in their field, and devoted much of those years to this institution are now out of a job. They'll get other jobs, you say? Not if the trend spreads.

And--just to get really cosmic on you--don't look to Broadway either for those jobs! What do you think that little strike was about last fall? Permanent companies have production departments; Broadway shows have "stagehands." But either way, no matter what you call them, they're the people loading in the sets, hanging the lights, hooking up the electricity--basically making the thing run.

And what we see here is an exact mirroring of the bottom-line, take-no-prisoners strategy of the League of American Theatres and Producers. Namely: "why are we paying these laborers so much money when we don't need them?" The reason they're not "needed" anymore is the shows are getting smaller and smaller, the production values cheaper and cheaper. And that's no coincidence.

4:43 PM