Friday, January 25, 2013

PRAGMATIC: "Independence"

John Clancy lays out what "Independent" really means when we talk about "independent theater":
I am an independent theater artist. 
I am constantly developing new work, my own and others’.  This development work is done in living rooms, diners and rehearsal studios and theaters which I rent or get free from friends.  I am independent of the development wing of the American commercial and nonprofit theater. 
The creation and production of my work is not dependent upon either Labor or Management, as those terms are generally understood.  I am myself both labor and management and neither at the same time.  This workplace division is meaningless to me.  I am something else, an “artrepreneur”:  an artist who creates the opportunities for my work and actively manages and produces the work.  I am an artist and a producer, often at the same moment.  I see no conflict or struggle with this dual reality. Because I work independently of the Management/Labor division of the American workplace and mindset, I am actively engaged in public and private discussion to change the operational models currently utilized by unions and guilds that operate in my territory. I am independent of the existing union definitions and decrees.

RTWT. John Clancy is a founding artistic director of the NY International Fringe Festival, but I know him now as the Executive Director of the League of Independent Theater, which I have had the pleasure of working with and am stepping up my involvement with this year.

I'm especially excited about the League this year because -- well, it's a big important year. The 2013 citywide elections here in New York are going to be the most open in years, since the incumbent mayor is on the way out, and ambitions are running high at every level of the city.

And the League of Independent Theater is the only 501(c)6 advocacy organization working for the creators/practitioners of Independent Theater in NY. 

We're putting together a platform, we're going to put together a political forum and endorse candidates, and then we're going to get those candidates elected -- and show that the 50,000 independent performing artists (86% of whom vote regularly) actually have a political voice in this city.