Working like a lunatic this week, two shows opening at PS 122 next week (both of which every one of you will come to early with nine friends in tow, I trust) and beginning work on the stage adaptation of Midnight Cowboy which I just got hired to direct at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Hot, frantic, strange few days.
A few thoughts on this League:
Some folks have talked about a physical site being important, a venue with rehearsal space, maybe a place with more than one stage. I like the idea, naturally, but every physical space eventually evolves into a clubhouse with some people on the inside and others knocking at the door. No way around that. So I think a physical location is important, in fact, some actual office space at the very least is essential, but thinking broadly, how about an organization that as part of its mission works to create new spaces, working with realtors, donors, merchants and politicians? Organized sweat equity, long-term neighborhood preservation or neighborhood development, etc. That's one concrete thing the League could work towards that no other organization I'm aware of has as a stated goal. And it's something that makes success verifiable, at the end of a year you could say this much square footage was created or acquired for small theatre artists, these many new affordable rehearsal halls were built, this many performance spaces were found.
Riffing off someone else's idea in one of the comments, how about an organization that works with local colleges and universities to train and place administrative, technical and creative interns with small theatres? So it's not just the random eager or not-so-eager kid hanging around getting in the way, it's someone who's gone through a process familiarizing her with the environment and even the particular Off-Off or indie theater she'll be working in. Same wing of the League could work to organize those sought-after group sales with a theater class that can make an iffy early Wednesday show into a solid, rowdy audience.
And another goal is to work consistently and ferociously with the local, state and federal government to preserve the cultural eco-system of which we are the key. Simple recognition of that fact and recognition that it's an organized community, not just a lot of individual artists, is the first step towards financial support of that community.
What do you think?
Come see the shows. Midnight Cowboy onstage, that's pretty strange, right? And most importantly, who's got free rehearsal space for me on Friday and Saturday afternoon? And a couch for Americana Absurdum.