Actors Guild’s pro question

Walter May (standing), a Lexington-based Equity actor, played Gone with the Wind producer David O. Selznick and Eric Johnson played screenwriter Victor Fleming in Moonlight and Magnolias at Actors Guild of Lexington in April 2008. Photos by Rich Copley | LexGo.

Walter May (standing), a Lexington-based Equity actor, played "Gone with the Wind" producer David O. Selznick and Eric Johnson played screenwriter Victor Fleming in "Moonlight and Magnolias" at Actors Guild of Lexington in April 2008. Photos by Rich Copley | LexGo.

Among the numerous questions Actors Guild of Lexington has to ask as it attempts to rebuild are: Does it want to be a professional theater? If so, what does that mean?

For years, Actors Guild has billed itself as Lexington’s professional theater for adult audiences. In recent years, it has been taking greater strides toward affiliating itself with Actors Equity, the stage actors union, by regularly booking Equity talent for its shows.

In May, the ­theater announced, among several other things, that it would be entering into a small professional theater contract with Equity.

Then, the bottom fell out.

A festering financial crisis was amplified in June, when LexArts decided not to give the AGL an allocation for general operating support – a contribution that had been around $70,000 in recent years – citing years of concerns about its fiscal management. In August, artistic director Richard St. Peter announced that he was leaving to pursue a doctorate in theater.

As the theater prepares to begin searching for a new artistic chief, it is going to work with a consultant and is holding a series of public meetings to get a feeling for what the arts community and the community in general want from the theater.

Lexington Children's Theatre's produ

Lexington Children's Theatre, which presented "How I Became a Pirate" in April, is a professional theater, but it is not an Equity theater.

Reaching out is in part recognition that the theater has become estranged from parts of the theater community as its leadership, location and mission have changed over the years. But in conversations over the summer, ­”professional theater” has been a hot-button issue.

Some of this stems from how that goal was first pursued. When St. Peter ­arrived at Actors Guild, with a charge to make its a ­professional theater company, he brought in several ­Equity actors from out- of- town. That produced some successful performances, but it alienated a lot of local actors, who said they felt ­unwelcome at AGL and that parts were going to visitors, some of whom were no better than local talent.

More recently, ­Equity roles have gone to local actors who are Equity members including Leslie Beatty and Walter May, and Actors Guild has emphasized Equity affiliation as a way for local Equity talent to work and area actors who want to join Equity a path to earning their membership at home.

The problem is, if an actor becomes Equity, it limits the stages on which he or she can perform on, and if there’s only one Equity house in town, there could be months or years between roles.

Equity is not the only way to be professional, as Lexington Children’s Theatre proves. It is not an Equity theater but it does pay a staff of actors and other artists. In LCT, could there be a model for a professional theater for adult audiences?

Aside from the Equity question, AGL has billed itself as a professional theater though a lot of its artists also work at area community theaters. So, some have asked, what makes it professional, aside from a small stipend?

One commenter on the blog version of this column asked a few weeks ago, “Is a person professional for one show and then drop to amateur, only to recover and become professional again just a few months later? Lather, rinse, repeat?”

Then again, is professionalism the only way for Actors Guild to distinguish itself? Is it a goal the Lexington audience will sustain? Could AGL’s identity be in the type of productions it presents or the way it presents them? Does it have to be a flagship theater for the city? Can the Lexington audience sustain a pro theater?

They’re big questions for the theater to answer if it’s to focus on a successful future.

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16 Responses to Actors Guild’s pro question

  1. I hesitate to get into the Dreaded Equity Argument, for fear it is like the “Birther” myth or the “Death Panels” myth — that no matter how much hard evidence you throw up, it will not shake those with preconceived notions. But here goes:

    In my experience in the three years I’ve been back, AGL, working under a guest artist contract, has never had more than two Equity Actors on stage at any one time. Given what I know of an Equity “small professional theatre” contract and its percentage requirements, I doubt if AGL went to that (and it would be the only contract that the demographic would sustain for a number of years),you would still have no more than probably 3 Equity actors on stage at any one time…and that would probably have to be a sizable cast show. Still plenty of room for local actors and non-Equity actors.

    In my experience, there has never been more than one non-local actor on stage in any given show, may be before I came, but I’m betting never more than two. There have also been non-local artists in the artistic technical fields. All of these were distinguished artists. Still plenty of room for local actors and artists.

    Whether there was local talent who could have performed with the same proficiency and skill is up for debate. But I certainly think sharing the stage with professional actors like Scott Wichmann and Jack Parrish, having experienced directors like Benny Sato Ambush and Brian Isaacs Phillips, and working with technical artists like Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White was invirgorating, stimulating, and raises anyone’s game. And I think that is the point…it is important for an artist to challenge himself and be challenged by others. To be exposed to other points of view, outside ideas. New and exciting talent encourages and stimulates the artistic environment. To be self-contained and insular is to get stale. When outside artists choose to work here it is not a threat; it is an asset for both the community and the local artists and something to be taken advantage of.

    But in any event, I don’t think AGL’s going Equity or merely professional is going to significantly change the balance of local talent you would see on the stage.

    I believe the goal has always been to get to a point that when people DO work for AGL, they get a living wage, whether they are Equity or not.

    What would that change…? The level of committment. Longer rehearsals, probably daytime rehearsal hours. No getting out for Aunt Maud’s wedding or church choir practice. If you are paid as a professional, your discipline must be professional. It becomes work, not a hobby.

    The level of committment can only affect the product for the better.

    What else might it change? AGL would have the power to Equatize actors and actors would have to decide whether they would want to be Equatize?

    Something else that might change and addresses the question of how does AGL distinguish itself…

    At some point, there may come a time when if AGL needs to brand itself, it may have to ask that actors and artists that they frequently hired…say for several shows a year…stop working in amateur community theatre.

    If they are paying someone a livable wage to appear or work three or four shows a year, they might not 1) appreciate that an actor who willing work for free elsewhere would expect to be paid at AGL and 2) they could see where their brand…what distinguishes them from other theatres…is being diminished every time an artist they hire works for free elsewhere. You can’t truly say your a professional theatre if your star one week is working for free the next.

    That would be a delicate balance and hard decisions would have to be made by both theatre and artists alike.

    No doubt one of the arguments that put up in that eventuality would be that an actor can’t make a sustained living in this town, be he Equity or non-Equity.

    Welcome to the real world of theatre. Even in New York, LA, or Chicago, it is the sad truth that actors often have to travel to make a living and, often even those big cities are merely home bases for not only actors, but directors, designers, and other theatre professionals who have to get out of town to work.

    All of the years I spent as a professional stage actor, whether I was in Texas or California, required me to travel in order to exclusively earn my living as an actor. Nobody is shooting TV shows in Lexington.

    There is really no point in AGL even existing, if it does not stay on a professional path. Lexington certainly doesn’t need another community theatre.

    But even if it eventually exceeds in being able to pay theatre artists liveable wages when they work, the chances of anyone other than staff actually exclusively earning their living from the theatre is just as unlikely as earning one’s exclusive living at Actors Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse-In-The-Park, or Kentucky Rep. Being a theatre professional by nature is an itinerant profession.

    But if AGL gains a professional reputation, then actors who work there and work with out-of-town actors who come through may network and gain reputations of their own that increase their chances of getting work elsewhere and earning their living exlusively as a theatre professional whose home base happens to be Lexington, Kentucky. In my short sojourn at AGL, I have already met people I will work with again.

    It is discouraging to see fine theatre artists here who could have professional careers limit themselves and be afraid to seek anything beyond their own comfort zone. But without challenges, without exploring new vistas, seeking and inviting new ideas and even frightening ideas, one grows stale, uninspired, and uninspiring.

    It’s easy and comforting to be a big fish in a small pond; but it can also self-defeating and be the death of ambition, curiosity, and creativity. If one will not leave the pond, then it’s best to make the pond bigger and more varied.

    While input meetings might have value, I caution a Theatre I’ve loved a lot the last three years to be careful from whom you solicited advice and judiciously filter the input you get. I fear the subtext of too much input will be “cast me and my friends” or “hire someone who will cast me and my friends.”

    It would be wise to seek input from Larry and Vivian Snipes as they are the only ones who have successfully run a professional theatre in Lexington.

  2. Forgive all the typos and misspelled words. I though I had thoroughly proofed, but my dyslexia strikes again.

  3. Bob Singleton says:

    Chuck, I share your hesitation to jump back into the equity fray on a public forum. Actually, I hesitate to jump back into any fray on a public forum as it too often ends up degenerating into something similar to recent town hall meetings that are little more than “sound and fury signifying nothing” (yeah, I went there). But I’m gonna jump in anyway.

    I agree with pretty much everything you’re stating. But there is one area where I look at things differently (fair warning, this is gonna take awhile to get there, and may not be worth the time). As someone who has previous professional experience, who truly loves and respects the theatre as a participant and audience member, who made a decision to not pursue acting as a career (but tries to approach all opportunities with the respect, demeanor and effort that embodies professionalism), and who has been extensively involved in the Lexington theatre scene, I personally have no problem with AGL pursuing some sort of equity status. Be it semi-professional (or whatever the term is) or LORT, I would hope and expect that such a status would benefit everyone. Certainly some opportunities may be lost, but I believe others would open up. Happens all the time. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Scott Wichmann and certainly the enthusiasm and talent he brings to the stage was terrific. Having met Jack Parrish, I hope to someday get the opportunity to work with him as well. However, there are many people here in town who (although not always pursuing theatre as a career) I strive to work with and who never fail to inspire me when I have the chance to work with them. I’ll pick one specific show as an example, since I don’t want to just list names and run the risk of leaving someone out. On The Verge Productions recently produced Another Part of the Forest. Ave Lawyer directed….I’ve had the privilege to work with her on a number of shows now, and it is always a challenging and fulfilling experience. Not just the talent and vision she brings, but the time and effort she puts into a show…for me, it’s as good as it gets. Ave didn’t earn a living wage for that show, neither did the people I performed with. However, the cast included people with professional experience, who at one time or another made a living wage as an actor, as well as people who had the ability to do so if they so chose. All of them reinforce my desire to give the best that I can, and who can’t help but lead fellow performers to great heights simply by what they give to a moment, a scene, a production. Anyone who wants to pursue theatre as a career, and anyone who doesn’t, would benefit greatly from getting the chance to work with people of this caliber, and I wouldn’t want to lose an opportunity for such an experience. If one had the opportunity to earn points and put professional credits on their resume as well, that would certainly be a bonus to him/her and to the local theatre scene.

    But (told you it would be awhile) if AGL does not or can not pursue equity status, I still think they have every right to, and that they should, keep the doors open. I don’t feel it’s my place to determine when there is enough “community theatre” or any kind of theatre in Lexington. It’s a business at any level, and as such it is up to the audience, the patrons, customers, whatever term you wish to apply, to make that decision. Individuals certainly have every right to determine whether or not they want to support a theatre, or even to opine that quality is diluted due to “too many cooks in the kitchen” (yeah, went there again, last one I promise), but AGL can continue with a mission to perform challenging, “edgy” works that are of high quality, without professional status, and they would still be filling a niche that is not currently available in this town. There are so many wonderful scripts out there that deserve an audience. We have a number of companies in this town that do strong and diverse work, including the aforementioned On The Verge, Studio Players, Balagula at Natasha’s, LCT, Paragon and Summerfest (forgive me if I left anyone out), not to mention Woodford County Theatre, that provide people an opportunity to hone their craft (and, in my case anyway, the chance to do what I love to do) while working with and in many instances learning from (and we’re always learning) very talented individuals who are providing a valuable service to the community, as well as an opportunity for audiences to get their fill of different types of theatre.

    As long as these groups can be well served by people who want to participate (either through bringing their experience, or developing their chops so they may be better prepared to pursue a career when the time comes), be it administrative, technical, design, direct, perform, and as long as audiences support the theatres, I say bring it on. For me personally, it’s not at all a desire to be a big fish in a small pond…it’s the opportunity to pursue my passion, be it at whatever level. The more chances to do that, the better. If that makes me selfish, so be it, but if the audience isn’t there I will be the first one to say that a change is needed. I know your quote about what theatre is without an audience, and I agree with that wholeheartedly.

  4. Bob, I think Another Part of the Forest was a terrific show and applaud the talent and professionalism of everyone in it. It’s certainly was one of the best shows I’ve seen in Lexington since I’ve been here as was Ave Lawyer’s production of ARCADIA at AGL. I personally think Ave is one of the two or three directors in this town. Unfortunately, as an Equity actor who refuses to scab or betray his union, my chances of working with her are pretty damn slim if AGL goes non-professional or doesn’t work under some sort of Equity contract.

    Sadly, my loss. But I made my decision. I want to be paid for my work. I think my talent is worth it and deserves it. And a successful thirty-five years in the business seems to have borne that out. Fortunately, I am not defined or confined by Lexington Theatre and if I truly want to go at acting again full bore, I’ll do what I have always done, what I need to do, and go where I have to go to pursue a career.

    What I don’t understand is the resentment with which Equity or talents like Scott Wichmann are often met by locals who perceive them as a threat instead of as an opportunity as you do. This is a loss too.

    I do not think that “Lexington theatre for Lexington locals only” is a very good watch-cry. It diminishes theatre as well as the theatre community and the community at large. Why don’t they go out all…ban the Opera House shows as well…They aren’t using locals.

    And the complaint that AGL closed out the local actors is simply specious and unjust. Scott and Jack were the only two non-locals I worked with…and, frankly, as Jack was living in Lexington and teaching at Kentucky State, he WAS a local. The real complaint should have been AGL didn’t use just anybody. No, it didn’t. AGL tried to use the best people available, just like you at Studio do, as Natasha does, as Beth at Woodford does.

    And I still believe that if any professional theatre in this town, be it AGL or another, ever emerges, the notion of “Why are we paying actors who work for free everywhere else?” will become a dilemma and actors will have to make that decision: “Do I want to be a professional or amateur?”

    What is lamentable is that, without a professional theatre, talents like you and Ave will never be paid what your talent is worth nor have the luxury of working in more ideal conditions. Unfortunately, AGL, over the last few years, wasn’t often able to provide those ideal conditions or never the deserved pay scale, but it was earnestly working to try and attain that goal. I think it’s a worthy goal both for the city, to have a professional theatre, and for theatre practitioners of talent, to be paid a fair price for that talent.

    I have nothing against community theatre, it has its place. But my hardcore support will always be for theatre that tries to provide its artists fair compensation for their work.

  5. A P.S.- AGL doesn’t have a mission “to perform challenging ‘edgy’ works”. I’m not even sure what ‘edgy’ means (Shakespeare and Ibsen can be edgy) and hopefully all good theatre is challenging (a silly sex farce can be the most challenging thing to perform well in the world).

    Nor do I think any professional theatre for adults can hope to survive in this demographic with a narrow, specific agenda of plays. The broader the palette probably the better. But hey? Just one guy’s opinion.

  6. Rich Copley says:

    I think Bob may have been recalling the old AGL mission of “compelling contemporary theater,” which a lot of people had great affection for. But that is a good point Charles — would Lexington support a pro theater with that mission?

  7. Bob Singleton says:

    Yeah, for the sake of some sort of brevity I tried to briefly articulate what AGL does in a way that would differentiate it from some of the other area theatres. I do think the works they pursue as a season are consistent in some sort of way, and that it does make them stand apart to a certain extent. We try to choose a varied season at Studio, and we’ve challenged ourselves and our audiences with productions like Proof, Cuckoo’s Nest, and Six Degrees, but we’re not likely to select more than one show per season along “those lines” (whatever that means). Chose the wrong words. Heck, all theatre is challenging in the sense that it’s a challenge to get anything from the page to the stage! I’ve always stated the paradox that I’m a little amazed that any show actually makes it to opening night, and yet and I’m never surprised when a show does make it. That challenge and the work that goes into it is part of the reason that I also believe we (and I mean anyone involved in a production) deserve to be paid for our work and for our talents. I’ve taken some heat for working at places that don’t pay.

    I chose a different route from you and have suffered some losses as a result, as well as some gains (have worked on some very special, very strong, and fulfilling productions here, and not sure I would have had some of those opportunities elsewhere. But of course, one never knows for sure). I guess that’s the way it goes with any decision, huh? But I think striving to offer better compensation is a worthy goal, no doubt about it.

  8. If you have a city the size of Cincinnati, you can have a regional theatre like Playhouse-In-The-Park which has a broader palette than The Ensemble Theatre which, for lack of a better word, does the edgy contemporary stuff…though the Playhouse does its share as well. But in Lexington, I think your regional theatre has to be more diverse and do your classics as well as contemporary (and classics mean Kaufman and Hart too).

    But i think the first thing any professional theatre has to do is not be comparing themselves with the community theatres. Actors Theatre or Playhouse-In-The-Park aren’t saying we can’t do this play because the local community theatre is doing it. That is the absolute wrong way to go about differentiating onself.

    Bob, the only disappointing thing about ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST was that it played to only 16 people a night. Its whole run would not probably fill up the Downtown Arts Center for one night. A show that good needs to be seen by many, many more people. True , it was site-specific, but I think those performances and that production could be transferred to a more conventional stage and not lost its intimacy or power. Another reason why professional-quality practitioners need a professional theatre.

  9. Rob Holland says:

    It is not my place to argue whats best for Lexington artists, but I want to bring up some (in my opinion) more important questions:

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$–Resources-$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Money is apparently a huge issue right now for the company so the notion there is a dialogue about working on an SPT is perplexing. Even if AGL received it’s typical funding from LexArts, it would still need to maybe double its operating budget to not necessarily cover pay rates for actors doing 4 shows a week, but all the other miscellaneous costs that come with hiring Equity (and an Equity Stage Manager). Someone needs to call the Equity office in Chicago and inquire about how many members are registered in Kentucky, and hopefully identify how many are in the region. If you have enough members to comfortably cast from– I would consider making a move pending the funding is there and the quality of the performances proves the move to that contract a benefit to the theatre audience.If you have to bring in actors outside the region-you have to pay housing, travel, and more added costs (thats alot of money to house someone for a four performance week).

    I would advise any performer reading this that has been paid a stipend for being an actor at AGL to go look at the pay scale for an SPT contract for 4 performances a week. Read that and then add on top of it annual membership dues. For many of you that have jobs that afford you the opportunity to participate in Lexington theatre and get some compensation for being on a local stage, the fact that you have AGL and the summer festival to honor your contributions with some cash is beyond what most mid sized American cities have to offer for non union actors.

    You also need the community to contribute to this vision: major gifts, in kind donations, volunteer work, and constant cultivation to be able to support the annual operation of the theatre.

    I recently received an email from a theatre that needed $60,000 to make its annual goal. This theatre sells out shows, has sustained excellence in its productions, and operates with a 3 million dollar budget. They will reach their goal because they have patrons who can afford to help because they cannot imagine not having that theatre to go to. This theatre is in a city smaller than Lexington and who’s average per household income is lower than Lexington’s.

    Does AGL have that kind of support???

    _____________________AUDIENCE_________________________

    Audiences want to watch performers who are compelling and you don’t need to join a union to provide that. So have audiences responded to the AGL about the performers? Are playgoers willing to pay more for a ticket to see a well traveled actor/actress? The overall play going experience is what audiences care more about- and its what the real dialogue should be about. If you want to grow audiences and in turn grow your theatre–the answer is sustained excellence on your stage.

    I recently looked at the Kentucky Stage website. What I like about this idea the most is that they are presenting a vision and looking for a response before they work toward their goal of being a major summer theatre company. My best wishes to that endeavor.

  10. Rob, before LexArts pulled AGL’s funding allocation, the theatre had already done a study of the financial obligations of going to a Small Professional Theatre contract and found out it was really not that much beyond what its annual budget already was. It was feasible.

    Your comments about housing and travel are what have always refuted the scare about AGL jobbing in lots of out-of-town actors. It was never going to happen.

    I was at the initial meeting of Kentucky Stage. As you can see they are planning to go Equity from the get-go. I, like you, have great interest in seeing how this endeavour progresses.

  11. Robert Parks Johnson says:

    Judging from the number of participants, I’d say the issue may be running out of air. That’s a relief. There is such a lot of work to do.

    The thing that is lost in the storm is that Actors’ Guild is not alone, rather it is a member of a community of theatres. All are struggling and all are producing in spite of those struggles.

    The idea of Actors’ Guild as an AEA house is done for now. But the idea of Actors’s Guild as a participant in the theatrical life of Lexington is not. Suddenly, AGL has a lot to learn from growing, successful companies like Studio and Balagula and Children’s Theatre and Paragon. That’s going to require a dramatic cultural change. AGL is used to thinking of itself as superior to its neighbors.Why do you think so many of them seem to enjoy watching the fall?

    Now that that image has been emphatically proven to be false, there is a golden opportunity for Actors’ Guild to participate in a tide that can lift many boats rather than just trying to be the flagship in a tiny fleet.

  12. sunny says:

    You can have all the public meetings you want. Will the public meetings solve the issue of the lawsuits? Will the public meetings get us paid from Constant Star? This town doesn’t need another community theatre. It needs a professional group with a mission that stands out and a board that has the knowledge and resources to support the staff and the organizations mission.

  13. laurie Genet Preston says:

    Robert:

    Well said.
    Very well said

    Now may we just put this to bed and focus on upcoming seasons of theatres all over town? There are lots of wonderful things going on! AGL has work to do …so let us all support it AND all the other theatres in town.

  14. Rob Holland says:

    Chuck,

    I’m with you on the fact that the SPT wasn’t too big of an issue funding in comparison to providing a stipend. My question is: how many equity actors are there in Central Kentucky? AGL has shipped in actors/directors/designers before. I should have clarified.

    I also find it interesting that you commented on this site specific play with seating for 16 people. This makes me think that theatres may not be as audience centered as perhaps it needs to be in Lexington (or this group is unique and had their own reasons for doing this (I hope)).

    I think nobody will give a squat about any company until artists stop promoting what the theatres should do for them,maybe then someone will decide to open up to whatever you may be offering by becoming a patron and/or benefactor. I hope you don’t take too much offense, but read the comments about any of the AGL articles on this blog. How many people were interested in whats best for the audiences.

    Whats the ratio of patrons to community theatre artists at these focus groups. If you cant get a loud response from them…..there is the real problem you have ignored.

  15. Rob,

    I’m no longer on the AGL board so, fortunately, I’m not really privy to what is being said or who is attending the input meetings. From what little I know, I suspect they are getting lots of community theatre folk, few patrons. Actually, patron feedback was mostly good (except for about the lousy chairs) and I think the majority were actually satisfied with the work AGL was doing; they just needed a lot more patrons.

    ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST was an excellent on all accounts. I also feel its high level of quality is not indicative of Lexington theatre, in general. I confess going to it skeptically…not because of the participants who, again, I think are some of the most professional quality practitioners in the area…but because I am not generally a fan of promenade, site-specific theatre and my own doubts about the point of playing to only 16 people a night. Despite all my reservations, it was one of the best theatrical performances I’ve seen in Lexington. Performers I admire all at the top of their game and brilliantly directed by Ave. That said, I’m not sure how many times one can go to the well of site-specific with such a limited audience. And a production that good should be seen by a lot more people. But the experience for this patron was great! Well worth the ticket.

    I really don’t know how many Equity actors are in Central Kentucky…or Kentucky, period. But the theatre would have had the power to Equatize actors, so it could have increased. I’m not sure that it’s really relevant.

    I’m not sure what audience-centered means? I just wrote an article for Southern Theatre magazine which I ended by saying, “The dilemma for the artist is not giving the audience what it wants, but figuring out how to make the audience want what he gives.” (http://www.setc.orgpublications/docs/ST_2009_Fall.pdf) But that gets into a debate about building and nurturing a loyal audience base which would be too long to get into here.

    Suffice it to say, I do not think a theatre should be soliciting the audience about what shows it wants to see. That is a theatre abandoning its artistic responsibility and pandering.

    Rob, I’ve have never quite understood the fund-raising game. I was asked on the board for my professional experience and insight. Specifically, as a voice for the professional philosophy. As one does too often, I realize in hindsight, I could have served in that capacity without being on the board. But I do feel that any theatre pursuing that philosophy ( or any other) has to really stop worrying about appeasing and placating the varied whims and agendas of the 250 people here who comprise the so-called “theatre community” and just stick to its own agenda and concern itself with connecting to the 250,000 people in the area who comprise the potential theatre-going community-at-large.

    I greatly admire Larry and Vivian Snipes at LCT who keep above the factions and out of the fray and just go about their business making theatre.

  16. Rob Holland says:

    “But I do feel that any theatre pursuing that philosophy ( or any other) has to really stop worrying about appeasing and placating the varied whims and agendas of the 250 people here who comprise the so-called “theatre community” and just stick to its own agenda and concern itself with connecting to the 250,000 people in the area who comprise the potential theatre-going community-at-large.”

    Or as Spock said in Wrath of Khan: the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few…and the one.

    I do not encourage pandering to any audience or group of artist. I hope some things don’t change about AGL. I enjoyed going into the office and being able to write down plays to be considered on the dry erase board, and see everyone elses contribution. Rick entrusted the casting choices to his directors and there is alot to be said about that, as a positive and fair-minded means of operation.

    I hope AGL continues brings in some directors outside of Central Kentucky circles, who bring not only credentials and experience but provide a fresh and more objective approach to working with Lexington actors.

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