Where can you go from staying “over there” past a “burn” to see “R&G” “up the hill”? That lingo belongs to the American Players Theatre of Wisconsin, where I’m currently taking in a rotating rep of 11 classic plays amidst the stunning scenery. As I engage with the staff and core group of 37 actors (including one of the canine persuasion), I’m struck by the vibrant organizational culture and its unique language. “Up the hill” refers to the 1148-seat outdoor theatre at the top of a steep pathway that winds through the woods—people are said to shed their worries on the way up! A “burn” is one of the ways the theatre helps maintain the prairie lands around them. And “over there” refers to the place where I am staying. Every theatre has their own versions of “burns” and “on the hill”—those in-words and local-phrases that bind companies and communities together.
Speaking of languages, I had the opportunity to practice my Spanish last week when our National Conference team travelled from our 2014 host city San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico. This city has seen a drop in drug-related violence and a surge in cultural activity, led in part by some of the innovative artists and theatre people we visited. From large cultural centers to reclaimed storefront spaces, Tijuana Hace Teatro, as it says on the t-shirt I was given by local artists. We’re hoping to cross this border as a Conference, so be sure to save the June 19-21 dates! I also want to extend our gratitude towards our hosts in San Diego for their familial hospitality and exciting ideas—more on this wonderful community of theatre people in later Briefings.
More travel opportunities–we’re exploring the possibility of the following TCG delegations to: Israel in early December, 2013; Cuba in late April or early fall of 2014; and the Bogotá International Theatre Festival in April 2014. We also have an invitation from the China’s International Theatre Institute (ITI) Center to send a small group of theater leaders to an arts festival with primary focus on local operas, as well as drama, Nov.9 to Nov. 23 in Suzhou City (close to Shanghai). Local hospitality is covered. Let Kevin Bitterman know if one or more of these possible delegations sound like something you’d want to join. We’re gauging interest and will have more details soon.
We’ll be taking a Briefing summer break next week, so I want to make sure you saw that registration is now open for the 2013 TCG Fall Forum on Governance: Investing in Vitality. We strongly encourage you to bring your trustees for action plans and honest dialogue and both capitalization and diversity. We’ll also be sharing and discussing the results from the 2013 TCG Governing Boards Survey, which managing directors have just been invited to take. We’re excited to gather this information and hope you’ll participate. If you have questions, please contact Ilana Rose.
Finally, I want to congratulate the sixth round recipients of the MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program: Think It, Do It. In addition to the local impact of these innovative ideas (several of which have a national reach), grantees will also be sharing their discoveries and knowledge on the TCG Circle. If you have your own innovative ideas to share on the Circle, email Gus Schulenburg—after all, nuestra casa es su casa!