I was in Xiamen, China last week where the International Theatre Institute (ITI) held its 33rd World Congress. TCG is the U.S. Center for ITI, and we traveled here with a 12-person delegation (PDF), including representatives from TCG member theatres, New Generations grantees and others who are active in cultural exchange. The Chinese Theatre Association hosted and they did a marvelous job. Like TCG, this national theatre organization houses China’s ITI Center. Its director, Wang Ling, credits the TCG National Conference as his inspiration as he organized his own large gathering of theatre people. It was interesting to compare notes on the challenges facing our respective theatre communities. There were representatives of 65 countries discussing theatre matters around the globe, which reminded me that we have so much in common in terms of the drive to create the work. In China, where a dominant theatrical art form is opera, there are 300 different local and regional forms—and thousands of opera groups. A burning question is how to engage new audiences in light of massive changes in technology, globalization and contemporary culture. They are seeking to find ways of engaging new generations in this ancient and beloved form of artistic expression, which sounds rather familiar.
A reminder: the Early-Bird deadline for the Fall Forum on Governance registration is today. We’re delighted to announce two new speakers: the illustrious Ben Cameron will lead a panel on how to think about the range of assets your theatre possesses and Lydia Diamond, playwright and TCG board member, will lead a session on her play Stick Fly, which was developed in a number of TCG theatres, and how you can engage boards in discussions about the art. You can find more information about the Fall Forum on Governance agenda and opportunities for scholarships on our website.
I hope you’ll take the time to look at Maggie Arbogast’s I AM THEATRE video. Maggie is the, general manager of the Wilma Theater—my former employer! The former math major has had countless jobs in arts administration and loves everyone minute of it!
This week’s featured book, as part of our 50 Years, 50 Books, is The Viewpoints Book. Anne Bogart met her co-author, playwright-director Tina Landau (librettist for the Adam Guettel musical, Floyd Collins, and director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and New York premieres of The Brother/Sister Plays and Superior Donuts), in Boston in 1987. Together, they more fully realized the training and rehearsal technique pertaining to natural principles of movement in time and space. One of the most innovative directors in American theatre, Bogart is the Artistic Director of SITI Company, which she co-founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992, and her training techniques are taught at countless universities across the U.S. as well as at her company headquarters in New York City.
Lastly, I want to leave you with an article I came across, “Finding Your Funding Model,” by the Stanford Social Innovation Review on long-term funding and how to think differently about fundraising models. This is the follow up to their great 2009 article called “Ten Nonprofit Funding Models.”