Teresa’s Weekly Update: Ch-ch-changes Edition

by Teresa Eyring

in Weekly Update

Post image for Teresa’s Weekly Update: Ch-ch-changes Edition

Last week, I mentioned that the Fall Forum on Governance is coming up, from November 11 to 13 in New York, and we’re deep into the planning for that convening. Whether or not you are able to attend, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what are the top issues your trustees—and theatre trustees, in general—could most benefit from delving into this year.

This week, I wanted to update you on some staff changes at TCG. Jenni Werner, our director of programming and our conference producer since 2006, is leaving TCG to become the new director of literary and artistic programs at Geva Theatre Center. Jenni has had such an important impact on the field in her time at TCG. We will miss her tremendously, as I know you will too, but this opportunity is very exciting for her and will allow her to more directly utilize her master’s in dramaturgy. With Jenni’s departure, we are creating a new department that will combine our efforts in communications and convenings. To accomplish this, TCG’s capable director of communications, Dafina McMillan, has been promoted to director of communications and conferences. She will be joined in this new department by Ruth Eglsaer, associate director of conferences, and Gus Schulenburg, associate director of communications. We look forward to introducing you to the new team!

I am happy to present week 6 of the I AM THEATRE campaign with a video of journalist Don Shewey, who talks about viewing arts criticism as a way to dialogue with artists. Don shares the pivotal moment he had writing about the Wooster Group and Liz LeCompte.

Our featured book this week, as part of our 50 Years 50 Books celebration, is Theatre of the Oppressed. Brazilian director Augusto Boal (1931-2009) began his revolutionary work on theatre performance, practice and technique at  Arena Theatre of São Paulo. So controversial was his work that the Brazilian military government deemed it dangerous, and in 1971 he was arrested and tortured. Subsequently exiled to Argentina, he penned his most famous book, Theatre of the Oppressed, which was first published in English in 1974. After 15 years in exile, Boal returned to Brazil in 1986 and founded the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed. Though he passed away in 2009, his work continues to be referenced and taught in countless university programs across the U.S. and throughout the world. As we explore our Core Values throughout our 50th Anniversary year, Boal’s legacy serves as a powerful reminder of the difference a theatre of Activism can make in the world.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you this nice article that celebrates the Goodman Theatre’s first decade in its new home.

  • http://www.dellarte.com Joan Schirle

    Teresa, for theatres in our budget range ($1 – 3million), it’s likely that our boards don’t have deep pockets. How can trustees pro-actively help us, as our dollars–and theirs–shrink and shrink? Rather than saying goodbye, they might uplevel their solicitation of goods and services–we may all be short of cash, but many vendors and service providers are still willing to give time or help if asked. This goes beyond typical donations of wine or catering for opening nights. We have three vans that need servicing, for example, or those cracked mirrors in one rehearsal studio need replacing. We, in turn, could present our needs list to them at every board meeting, affirming that their connections are as valuable to us as their financial contributions. And they might work together to take a ‘find a need and fill it’ attitude. Given what a lean year we are looking at and how deeply we have pared our budget, saving $100, $500, $1000 is not small potatoes!