The Delusion of the Most Theatre Artists
I agree with most of what P'tit Boo says in her post regarding Scott Walters and his recent return to Blogging.
I agree that theatre artists do not HAVE to be business minded. (Although the examples of Shakespeare, Richard Foreman and some others give me pause on that front.)
With regards to Ads in theatres, I think this question did indeed quickly become a straw man. And quality and aesthetics will always rule anyway.
As Ptit boo says, the artist who does not run their own business can succeed, and I agree that their business acumen does not neccessarily dictate their time to success.
However, I will emphatically say that the independent artist who somehow believes that they are functioning free from corporate capitalist influence is dangerously naive.
Anybody who thinks that our non-profit theatre is existing in vacuum from corporate capitalism is really living in a dream world.
Just as an example: Here are the corporate producers of the Manhattan Theatre Club
Corporate Producers $50,000 and above
Altria Group, Inc
General Atlantic LLC *
Integrated Finance Limited *
Peter J. Solomon Company*†
SMBC Global Foundation, Inc.*†
By the way, Altria was formerly Phillip Morris, just so there is no confusion there.
Oh, in case you think that avante garde or experimental projects are different: Performance Space 122 has also been the grateful recipient of Altria's generous donations. As has the Kitchen, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists...We could go on, (and you can read the complete list here.
So, let's put the blinders back on and head back to the word processor, rehearsal space, or wherever we create our art, so that we can send it out to P.S. 122 or the Kitchen, or maybe get into New Dramatists.
At least that will enable we "pure artists" to keep deluding ourselves as long as it is not actually WE that have to put our lips to the cancer- infested corporate teats. And this will allow us to continue to cynically snicker at American Idol's Coke logo saturation. One step removed and all that.
I am starting to believe John Clancy left one group out of his clever wall analogy: He should have added that is always the camp that doesn't believe there actually is a wall.
One thing Scott has right in all this is: Where do you draw the line? What is independence?