Woke up this morning with nothing to do but pack for a week away. A week ago we loaded two shows into PS 122, teched and opened them both, critics have been in and now they're running and I'm in that great, strange place in the director's life where I am of no real use to a project anymore. Very proud of them both, check them out if you can. And deep gratitude to those who came early, nothing gets a cast focused like a crowd.
Over the weekend I took part in a Creative Capital workshop at LMCC and heard about LMCC's "Swing Space" program. It's a working model of something we've been talking about, an arrangement between realtors and arts organizations to provide temporary rehearsal space. So no need to re-invent the wheel on this front. I'll talk to them when I'm back and see if the deal can be replicated throughout the city.
Something we need some help on is finding a simple way to determine how many Equity actors work under the Showcase Code in a given year. We have to start gathering this kind of information for a compelling case. Also, over-all attendance to Off-Off or indie theater. The collective numbers are impressive, we all know, but we need to do the research now to make the case in the fall. Any ideas on how to start?
And just to throw some seeds out there, here are the 11 things I wrote down when I first started thinking about what a League of Independent Producers might be able to accomplish, in no particular order of priority:
1. New York 99 seat theatre plan (new contract or code)
2. Rent subsidies for 99 seat theatres
3. Affordable or subsidized rehearsal space
4. Mentor program (matching established producers with first-time producers)
5. Creation of a National Alternative Touring Circuit
6. Creation of a new weekly arts and culture newspaper
7. Getting an accurate annual audience count for 99 seat theatres in New York and establishing a system to make that count each year
8. Completing an Economic Impact study
9. Out-reach to opera, dance and visual arts producers and venues
10. Creating an avant-garde curriculum for high school students
11. Getting financial commitments from commercial producers and film companies to support 99 seat theatres in New York
That's everything I scribbled down. Ambitious, but it's been my experience that dreaming big early is the most efficient way of getting something launched. Of all these, I think the first and the third are the most pressing and the seventh and the eighth the most important to get an accurate read of the territory. Let me know if anyone thinks differently.
Feels to me like we should start thinking about a meeting. I'm back from London on the 19th and then flying out again sometime early July, gone until September. So late June works. If not then, then it's the fall.
Again, thanks for supporting the shows and a huge cyberthanks to Steve Kovacs for designing our new website, www.clancyproductions.com. Seriously spanking.
I'll see if I can do some London blogging over the next week. In the meantime, all good things to all.