A positive review today in the Washington Times for the show, but in keeping with my decision to correct policy errors and misinterpretations, I'm going to comment on one part of the review, quoted here:
His solution to shrinking audiences and a staggering lack of interest by most Americans seems charmingly naive - bringing back the repertory system with companies of actors and artistic teams who make art together.
That would be charmingly naive, if in fact that were my solution, which it is not.
I never advocate in the piece for a return to the past—I'm very clearly calling for artists to be in residence within theaters, working and belonging to those communities. This could take the form of an acting company, but it can also be playwrights, designers...the specifics of what works will vary from theater to theater, and community to community. The scale of any undertaking will also vary, and will depend immensely on circumstances on the ground at each institution.
The one thing I can assure you will never happen is that a photocopy of the repertory system will be put in place—that would make no sense whatsoever, especially since with the loss of all the other companies, there'd be no ecosystem. What I'm talking about is what comes next, not what has been.
This is a common failure of imagination people have when grappling with issues—our only solutions are to do what we do now, or to do what we used to do.
That may create a sense of community within the theater, but will it fill empty seats?
What I'm proposing can and will—because the effort is not some namsy-pansy effort to create feel-good "community" for its own end, but to make a team of artists in service to their community that the community then has a vested interest in the work of. We call it "community", but in sports circles it is also called "team pride", and it is a potent force the American theater has squandered...and it is exactly what we need now.