Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cultural Capital Crisis

At the same time that Boston is moving toward more international theatre offerings, (Robert Orchard's ambitious new ArtsEmerson initiative opens this season,) it seems Los Angeles is going to be cutting back in that area.

Charles McNulty reports in the Los Angeles Times that the UCLA Live's International Theatre Festival will be shuttering due to cost cutting measures:

It seems to me that the decision, made by Waterman and members of UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s staff, reflects a lack of understanding of the theater festival’s unique place in the city’s cultural ecology. There is simply nowhere else to experience the kinds of offerings Sefton was importing to Los Angeles. Beyond the Brooklyn Academy of Music and one or two lonesome xenophilic venues in the U.S., the only option is a pricey European flight.

Well, depending on how all the fundraising works out for ArtsEmerson, Mr. McNulty may want to start looking at flights into Boston!

But let's hope that things work out for UCLA's festival. After all, we're not too sore at the outcome of the NBA finals.

And, while we are on the "Cultural Capital" front, Kris Vire of TimeOut Chicago has posted a question to theChicago theatre community on the heels of the TCG conference which just took place there.

A number of out-of-town critics have praised Chicago as America’s real theater capital over the last several years. What if, instead of continuing to export our stuff elsewhere for praise and dollars, we embraced what London’s Michael Billington, Toronto’s Richard Ouzounian, New York’s Terry Teachout and others have written and sell ourselves, not New York, as said theater capital?

A good read.

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