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Lyam White
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There is probably a serious discussion about "patronage" as a model for funding theater, a profoundly expensive art form if one makes even a pretense of paying artists for their time (which is why I'm happy to work for nominal stipends if the project is worthy, but am also grateful when UMO gives me an opportunity to make new, innovative, highly personal work for a reasonable hourly wage). Given how often the work I do has been subsidized by grants, I'm ultimately rather sanguine about the notion of receiving money from a wealthy individual, provided the individual has the good sense and impeccable taste to leave my collaborators and me to the work we do and the choices we make. And if it's naive to imagine that generators of wealth will have that good taste and good sense, well, it's probably also naive to imagine that the state would do so, but we've managed, so far, to act in good faith without compromising our vision, and to receive the grants offered. In many ways, an individual benefactor might be preferable to a corporate sponsorship, given the capital-focused groupthink of corporations ... but then, my own flavor of work could probably find kindred spirits in independent record labels and such, so maybe there's even a way down that path that doesn't suck. The problem is, there isn't much point in a serious discussion of patronage v. other models of funding here, because by all accounts, "Seven Ways to Get There" isn't an example of patronage, really. It has some of the hallmarks (rich benefactor, artists getting paid), but this doesn't because there was an artist or group of artists that Clark wanted to subsidize in doing their own work. It exists because a generator of wealth felt (apparently because he's never seen a contemporary play) that a story about the inner turmoil of a generator of wealth, as told by way of light drama disguised as dark comedy, is something urgently needed on the American stage. There has been some rumbling about our misgivings being about Clark not being the "right kind of people," another example of our effete/elitist snobbery, and I'm sure there's some of that happening. But I think we can reasonably object to wealth being the deciding factor as to which stories are told. Though I must say, Sam's argument amuses. I don't know how instructive it is, but I imagine there might be something to it.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2015 on Better Dead, But Rich'll Do at Just Wrought
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Mar 6, 2015