Wednesday, March 04, 2009

metaDRAMA: Well, That's One Way To Tighten The Belt

Economy being generous as it is right now for the arts, many companies are trying to think outside the (black) box when it comes to budgeting space. One such solution shows that you don't have to tighten the belt simply by squeezing things out--you can always keep your budgets where they are and just go up a pant-size or two. The physical solution to this metaphoric conundrum involves adapting a repertory model similar to that of the festivals: team up with other companies--preferably ones you like, trust, and complement. You can then share rental expenses, stagger performance schedules, and reduce the cost of advertising.

Come May, you'll find Theater of the Expendable's Mare Cognitum, Small Pond Entertainment's Squiggy and the Goldfish, and Cross-Eyed Bear's Ore, or Or, all squeezed into the Workshop Theater space. It's economically sound, and reminds me of the way Barrow Street Theater used to cram in late-night shows (like Eat the Taste sharing the set for Bug). As a theatergoer, I'm obviously all in favor of getting the theater up and out there, however you can. But you tell me; what's the downside to this sort of theatrical model? Why don't more companies use that fabled business buzzword ("Synergy")?

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