Tuesday, June 05, 2007

help wanted

The League of Independent Theater is an idea I’ve been curating for awhile, along with John Pinckard and Paul Bargetto. We’ve been excited and gratified by the tremendously positive community response to the idea of the League, but I want to stress that so far, it’s only an idea. I see it working as a trade organization, a vehicle to gather and propel the ideas and best practices of the community, and also as an instrument to express and amplify the collective voice of the community. I’m imagining a nonprofit membership organization with an elected staff. Initially we’d need a steering committee of some sort to create the bylaws and incorporate the thing. John and Paul and I are doing that in an ad hoc way right now, but we feel the need for much broader community input.

Below is the barest of blueprints. Please respond with any and all comments, thoughts and suggestions.
The League of Independent Theater is a membership organization dedicated to preserving and strengthening independent theater in New York City. The League’s mission is to foster theatrical productions produced in 99 seat theatres and promote the common interest of its membership. The League assists in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, serves as the collective voice of its membership, works to increase interest in independent theater throughout North America, strives to foster a sense of community among all members, and develops programs addressing the unique needs of its members.

Short-term goals include:

Advocacy of a new AEA Code allowing for longer production runs
Partnering with enlightened realtors to create affordable and secure rehearsal and performance space
Creation of an archival database of member’s productions including scripts and design images
Commissioning an Off-Off economic impact analysis

Two types of membership:
Organizational- any theater company or producing company regularly working in or operating a 99 seat theater. 100.00 annual dues
Individual- any artist, technician, administrator or producer regularly working in 99 seat theater. 50.00 annual dues


nick said...

This is a long and winding road you are suggesting. But thanks for the first step. I’m with you. Let me know about meetings, plans, and needs. I’ll contribute what I can to help make this happen.

John said...

Thanks, Nick. I think the early essential question we have to answer is "what's in it for me?". What does a membership give a company or an individual, besides that warm feeling of unity? I can get that without shelling out fifty bucks.

nick said...

Yeah, John, dues might be a little premature. Besides, an active membership, especially now so early on in organizing, is much more valuable. I can imagine the League actualizing as a center and network for collective bartering and exchange of talents and resources. Many of us produce our independent theatre in a similar fashion. Through their day jobs the actors and others working in our productions connect us in an almost underground relationship to the wealth of the city. Each new active member of the League essentially becomes one more actor in the production we all are working toward.