Wednesday 19 March 2008

new dawn

Too many theatre companies behave like Blanche DuBois, says Scott Walters, and rely on the kindness of strangers.

He finds it 'undignified' and 'disempowering' that regional theatre companies in the States get nearly 50% of their funding from donations. It turns them into 'ungrateful beggars groveling and sneering at the kitchen door of society.' But, he argues, companies can free themselves from this: 'aesthetic choices are essentially economic and ecological.'

Walters is right: economy in art doesn't mean that it has to be done on the cheap. Stuff doesn't always have to be there. The greenest option may be the most stunning.

In Hamlet, when Shakespeare needed to convey the idea of dawn, he didn't ask for a cyclorama and a lighting designer. He got Horatio to do the job:

'But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill'

There's a moment with no carbon footprint.
pic: Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois

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