Mr. Excitement today has a dispatch from writer/instructor/actor Alan Berks who's wandering the wilds of the TCG Conference in Minneapolis. His experience thus far seems to have been less-than-inspiring.
I get the sense that no one likes the current state of American theater. They like what they do, but believe that no one else is doing it. Or they worry about how their audiences don’t like what they do – or, of course, “need to be educated” about what they do. Ensemble-based, collaboratively-ambitious companies think that institutional theaters support playwrights too much ... And playwrights think that institutional support from theaters is stifling, condescending, uncreative, and even usurious ... I might wander into the session on new musical theater right now since I imagine that people who do musicals can’t be that unhappy – but I expect to hear the same kind of didactic push for this or that style of this or that so that this or that theoretical audience will be theoretically more engaged by our risk-taking or our importance or our . . . whatever.More insights here.