Teresa’s Weekly Update: Audacious Experimenters Edition

by Teresa Eyring

in Weekly Update

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Happy almost Thanksgiving! Our Fall Forum on Governance, which took place over last weekend, was a tremendous success. We had record attendance, and the Forum community of trustees, theatre leaders and artists had the opportunity to delve deeply into questions about the range of assets that form a theatre’s capital structure. In his kickoff keynote, David Henry Hwang talked about the opportunity to reimagine our field, its models and structures. He talked about how the resident theatre movement was an innovation around 50 years ago and that it can be reborn at any moment. If you’re interested in listening to the plenary sessions, the audio recordings are now available on our website. Also, you can read my closing remarks on the TCG Circle, where I share my thoughts about the weekend.

At the Forum, we shared the recently released Taking Your Fiscal Pulse—Fall 2011, which is now available for download on our website. The report is based on our recent snapshot survey that was conducted in collaboration with the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations (APASO), and captures the most recent state of affairs for 350 participating theatres. The report conveys actual and projected activity for theatres’ fiscal year ending anytime in 2011, with 89% of theatres reporting that their financial situation is holding steady or on the upswing.

I hope you’ll take a look at this week’s I AM THEATRE video, which is of Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz. Nilo’s relationship with theatre began with a mystical impulse to drop everything and see a show. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, Nilo Cruz is best known for his award-winning play Anna in the Tropics. On December 5, Nilo will be featured in the second installment of TCG Playwrights in Conversation: Discussions and Readings at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC. The evening will include readings of his work, along with a conversation with Janice Paran, an artistic associate of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. Check out our website to find out how you can attend or view the live-streaming.

The way we highlight the work of artists may have evolved in the last 15 years, but the urgent need to do so remains undiminished. American Set Design, published in 1985 and featured as part of our 50 Years, 50 Books, profiled the achievements of 11 American scenic designers, offering an up-close and invaluable look at their individual processes and influences. As Harold Prince noted in the Foreward, “Today there are more talented, audacious designers experimenting in this country than in any previous period in our history.” As we approach Thanksgiving, we send our gratitude to all of you audacious experimenters, who are breaking new ground in the theatre today.