Reactions to How Theater Failed America in Los Angeles

From blog post The Post Show Round Table by Mick Montgomery

I listened to someone from the Odyssey say the words that spell the down fall of all theaters in this country… “I don’t want to do Children’s Theater, I want to do the Art I want to do.”

My message to those folks running theater in this town is… “Guess what? That’s not your job.” The job of the theater is to support it’s audience and community, not exist soley for the purpose of indulging the creative proclivities of the artists entrusted with running the stage. Artistcally, I may want to do a season filled with “True West” and “End Game” and the like, where I could star in or direct them all, but that’s not my job as the steward of the theater. My job is to embrace my community for who they are, and then go from there. I’m not saying this is soley doing Children’s Theater, but it’s about engaging your audience where they are at, not asking the audience to engage you where you are at. Theater is about people, audiences and artists sharing things together. Theater is not about a building or a ‘great space’ or subscriptions. The theater is the product of the people coming to it, not the other way around. We don’t understand that here in Los Angeles.

I found it ironic that Mike Daisey railed against theaters trying to ‘get more money’ to solve all their problems with paying artists in his piece, and then comedically, 10 minutes after the show when he asked his panel, what would you need to make big changes to the theater culture in L.A. the first answer out of someone’s mouth was… “We need more money.”

Please Share!

    4 thoughts on “Reactions to How Theater Failed America in Los Angeles

    1. Mick Montgomery

      Dennis, thanks for the bump.

      Needless to say last Friday night was one of the most Inspiring and Discouraging evenings I’ve ever had in the theater… it was better than Church. It made me debate whether I should fight back to make theater a viable medium for both audience and artist, or just quit all together.

    2. Pingback: Mick Montgomery on Mike Daisey | Articles About Everything

    3. Ashlley Elias

      I fear most smaller theatres are geared toward actors first and community second. Actors then create a community to sustain the theatre and their showcase. The fact that most theatre (at least here in Orange County) were created by and are run by actors seems to prove the point.

      Dare I ask whether anyone asked the community if it wants to go to a theatre anymore?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *