May 6, 2009

What He Said

I don't find myself linking to George Hunka very often; though I have found his theater blog indispensible, and consider him personally a mensch, his and my tastes have diverged over the years to a sufficient extent that when each of us talks about theater I feel we're almost talking about two different media.

So I was glad to find a post by George I can mostly endorse. The gist:
If an art form is to thrive it must feed a spiritual hunger...All of the marketing in the world, viral or otherwise, will not serve to generate spectators if the spectators find nothing there, nothing in the YouTube trailers or the Facebook "events" invitations or the postcard, that suggests that the theatre offers them something that the rest of the culture industry does not, and for much less money. If they see a theatre they want, they will pay for it, as they pay for luxury items of greater or lesser price.

That seems to me inarguable, though I would differ from the larger point George is making--that our contemporary theater seems to offer no such sustenance. This past year in particular has been a spiritual banquet, at least to my palate, especially in the play department: Port Authority, Seagull, Becky Shaw, Our Town, Ruined, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Godot, Our Town, Joe Turner, Norman Conquests--these are plays that in some cases satisfied yens I didn't even know I had.

So: agreed on the terms, George, if not the particulars.

1 comment:

George Hunka said...

Naturally, to each his own, Rob, and we'll agree to disagree -- but thank you so much for your link and kind words.

And congratulations too on your move to American Theatre!