Robert Viagas, host of Playbill Radio and editor of The Playbill Broadway Yearbook, and Sandra Gibson, president and CEO of Arts Presenters, the national service organization for performing arts presenters, was interviewed today on the Leonard Lopate Show about the scheduled closings of many broadway shows this month.
What caught my ear most was Gibson’s comment on theater as community. Â She uses the example of Suzie Lori Parks being a resident playwright at the Public Theater. Parks wrote her first play in five years during the first six weeks of that residency.Â Gibson says this is “because she was linked in a different way to the community there”.Â She wants to see a re-thinking of how to sustain artists in this capacity.Â Also she is working with theaters to facilitate action that further connects the audience to the artist and show people the developmental process of the work.
I think the residency topic, and how it relates to the community, could be a interview topic by itself.Â Writers seems to be the ones who a residency seems to be a natural fit, but how do residencies help connect directors, actors, and technicians to the community? What are some examples of other artist residences that have brought that artists closer to the community?
What about the idea of opening the door to the creative process?Â I think this is where theaters can begin to integrate Web 2.0 technology.Â By theaters using blogs, pictures and videos audience members can feel that they have a connection to individual artists and the theater as a whole.Â California Shakespeare Theater seems to be doing just that.Â A look at their home page has links to their facebook, myspace and twitter accounts.Â Their blog has numerous contributors ranging from artists, staff and board members.Â Do you follow theaters online through these various accounts?Â What theaters do you know of that are using Web 2.0 to help connect the organization to the community?