the transformative power of live theater


It’s Better When It’s Live

Last night after our reading of THE AMERICAN CLOCK for director Dan Sullivan, we had the usual Antaeus wine-and-cheese-hang in our library. I got into a stimulating conversation with director Doug Clayton (LA Stage Alliance) and director/actress/producer Inger Tudor (A Noise Within) about the state of the LA theater community, the pros and cons of the waiver contract and current artistic trends (or lack thereof).

This morning as I was perusing the New York Times, I stumbled across a piece by Erik Piepenburg on the ArtsBeat column where he interviewed Victoria Bailey, the executive director of the Theater Development Fund, the nonprofit performing arts service organization that operates the city’s TKTS booths.

He asks her about “Broadway Bargains: Secrets of the TKTS Booth,” and one of his questions is about why patrons can’t buy TKTS online. She responds:

Our mission is in large part to promote conversations about theater. You do that in person. The booth is kind of a town square.

This made me think back to my conversation last night with Doug and Inger. In many ways, Antaeus aspires to be a place where people can get together to talk about theater, to be inspired, to learn. And of course, to have have a good time. That’s why part of our tradition involves things like wine and cheese receptions before or after many of our performances. It’s about creating a space for theater vets and neophytes alike to engage and interact in ways that can only happen when you’ve had the shared experience of sitting in a theater together. An experience that happens in real time, unfolding in front of you.

I’m an online junkie. I spend far to many hours watching videos on Hulu, reading blogs, and connecting with people via Facebook and Twitter and email. But sometimes, even an Internet addict like myself has to admit…it’s better when it’s live.

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