Saturday, May 9, 2009

Staying at home

Theatres adapt to lower budgets

The Perils of Playing it Safe.

So a couple of links that, although from the States, have a certain relevance to Canada. I just finished looking over a semi comprehensive list of the 2009-2010 theatre seasons from around the country and boy oh boy is the playing it safe paradigm ever at work. Maybe it was ever thus but when you look at the whole picture it sure leaps out at you.

Also what leaps out is the size of the shows and who is directing them. By my quick count it seems that the artistic directors are taking on a bigger directing load this season. Bob Baker [3], Steven Schipper [4] , Peter Hinton [3], Richard Rose [3], Ron Ulrich [4] and Messers Hinton and Rose are also directing away from their own venues as well.

So this must be the sign of the times. More tried and true recognizable theatre with slightly reduced opportunities for outside directors. I am not sure this is a workable plan if it goes on for more than a year or so but it would be nice to open up the discussion of how theatres are looking to the future.

1 comment:

linanneblack said...

That, and the remounts, co-pros and imports are still on the rise. Which cuts costs for everyone, and is awesome for the smaller companies that are looking for higher-profile presenters, but a remounted production is another already-filled slot for potential directors, actors, designers, &c..

Not to mention that that can be really lame for the venue's full-time tech staff and regular freelance workers. When the shows are already complete, they face lay-off periods, or fewer contracts. For example, one of my major employers has had only 16 non-consecutive hours of work for me since mid-February... and 8 of those were spent cleaning the shop. This, of course, means that I haven't had any work for my regular assistants, at all. I know carpenters that have had random, hard-to-fill, two week gaps in the middle of the season. We all expect more of this next year.

It doesn't look like a good year to be a freelancer. But then... when does it? ;)