Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scott Walters Talks Diversity

One of those posts that stands out amongst the crowd, from Scott Walters.

Isaac Butler's response was:
It has a very simple but very very radical idea at its core, one that's simple enough that I've gotten it but radical enough that I still don't know how I think about it and am trying to fight me knee-jerk urge to reject it and instead actually sit with it.
My initial reaction was negative, although I've been going back and forth about why exactly. I think that when Scott is talking about "giving up some control," I think he's underestimating the amount of control that is being given up. It's a philosophical difference, at the end of the day -- as an artistic director myself, I can't imagine myself putting up a show that I couldn't defend as being the show I had chosen to put up. Will randomly selected shows be good? Maybe. Often not. Scott may be right that regional theaters don't always have the best track record in selecting plays. But at least when they are wrong about plays they select, they are responsible.

I guess the question that has to be asked is this: if you put on a play that is diverse, but is not well accepted by your audiences--it's just another forgettable show--have you accomplished something? Because if the answer is yes, then by all means, use the lottery. But I don't think so.

It is always hard to find the right show. But I don't think you need to trade artistic integrity for diversity.

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