What if theatre weren’t seen as a luxury, but as central to the fabric of our country?
What if artists and other theatre leaders talked openly about art and aesthetics?
What if theatres committed to hiring more people of color in leadership positions?

From June 16–18, in Los Angeles, the 21st TCG National Conference will kick off a year—long celebration of TCG’s 50th anniversary. TCG was founded in 1961 when the Ford Foundation and a handful of resident theatre pioneers asked themselves, “What if there was a strong network of theatres throughout the country that could strengthen their work and help them learn from each other?” Now we’re asking, what if we imagined the theatre field of the next 50 years, and began making visible progress today?

We’re asking theatre leaders and big thinkers across the country to write posts here on the TCG Circle, all inspired by the central question we’ll be asking, “What if…?”

What if a group of committed philanthropists created a “Giving Pledge” for theatre?
What if theatres and artists committed to each other for multiple years?

Starting this week, and continuing until the Conference in June, we’ll be posting responses to these questions and more. Our hope is these posts will create a momentum of ideas to ignite the conversations of the Conference, widening its reach and deepening its impact. If you feel inspired to write your own “What If?” please contact me at gschulenburg@tcg.org with your ideas.

On the eve of our 50th anniversary, we want to imagine what the next 50 years might be, and we hope these “What Ifs?” will help spark the ideas and inspire the conversations that will shape that future. Stay tuned (we’ll be sharing our first post at 12Noon EST today), and join in!

  • William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.

    What if…American Theaters start to turn the tide of the cultural genocide of Native American Indians by presenting and validating the work of Native American Indian Theater artists in their communities, whether it be city, state, or Nationwide….

    What if…Native American Indian Theater was validated and not seen as just another ‘ethnic’ form of theater, but an Indigenous art form of the Americas.

    What if…Non-Native American Indian Theater artists would stop running to find “exotic Indigenous” groups and focused an effort to help identify, take action, and repair the damages of colonization of Native American Indian communities here in the United States….

    What if…American Theaters started to acknowledge the relationship of their theaters (locations and buildings) with the environment?

    What if American Theaters and their artists could name not only one, but several of the Native American Indian tribes in their city, state, or country, without having to feel guilty, but with pride because they have taken the steps of change?

  • http://www.tcgcircle.org/ August Schulenburg

    These are great suggestions, thank you – I’ll share these with my collaborators on the project and see what they respond to:)

  • http://planetconnections.org/tulpaoranneme RVCBard
  • Ron Bashford

    What if administrators salaries were as transparent as those of freelance artists?

    What if more regional theaters worked together to help the public understand that live theater is a thriving national activity?

    What if the first budgeting assumption was that all tickets should be free (or actually affordable for everyone)?

  • http://www.sojourntheatre.org michael rohd

    my what if is here.

    http://www.howlround.com/2011/05/29/civic-theater-by-michael-rohd/

    and it will be an ‘is’, not a what if…

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