Join the Conversation

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Early on Friday, March 24th, Rattlestick hosted an intimate gathering of artists, educators and audience members to talk about how their lives have been changing since the election and what, if anything, the theater can do to address the divide that appears to now be such a dominant part of our culture.  

As the 12 of us met for this early morning coffee on Rattlestick's stage munching on granola bars, two resonant groups of questions arose:

First, is there a same-ness to the theatrical work being produced today?  Are theaters really creating enough platforms for diverse characters and storytelling?  And are we supporting ways for less traditional constituencies to feel more empowered through our work?

Secondly, are we are demanding enough of our artists to help us make sense of this confusing and possibly dangerous moment? Further, what role does the audience have in helping bring change to theater under these circumstances?

I left this meeting wanting, no needing, to reach out to the broader theatrical community for ideas and inspiration. Thus, to all of you artists and audience members alike, I humbly request your help with the following:

For Artists - Please email me with what new ways you long to engage with audiences.  (I don't mean simply that you want a play produced.).  For example, have you dreamed of new ways to reach an audience through audience participation, technology, using new setups in theaters, new settings for presentations, etc.?

For Audience Members - Please email me with new ways you long to engage with artists. Do you want to attend an early reading of a play or watch a rehearsal? Meet with a playwright to really hear why and how they wrote their play? Or a director and find out how a play was brought to light? Or lighting, sound, costuming or other technical experts to get behind-the-scenes insights into their jobs? Also, what would you like to see on stage that you are not seeing?

Challenging new theater is a product of a type of dialogue between artists and audience members. Thank you for being a part of this dialogue with us.

Daniella Topol