Theatre Matters

Contemplations on the dramatic arts from a national perspective

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Steven Oxman has contributed to such publications as the Los Angeles Times, American Theatre, Stagebill, and, most frequently, Variety, for which he has written over 300 television and theatre reviews.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Boston Binge

Very interesting article from the Boston Globe about the city's recent surge in new theatrical spaces, and concerns about whether people will fill the seats.

This is soon going to become a national concern. During the 90s, many regional theatres and arts organizations were flush with cash and started a building binge: new theatres replacing old ones (the Guthrie, for example); second spaces for established theatres (the Kirk Douglas in L.A., an extension of Center Theatre Group); and big new multi-purpose art houses (Houston's Hobby Center -- an awful monstrosity, by the way).

This is one big reason that the ACT in Seattle almost collapsed financially -- they couldn't support the costs of their new space.

I believe strongly that we're in a very important transition period nationally. Theatres are experiencing growing pains, the artistic leadership is changing over to the next generation, philanthropy is under stress. I'm optimistic that creativity will prevail, but these are indeed interesting times.