Welcome to my blog! This is hopefully a place where I can let you know what I’ve been up to and you can help by responding and asking those questions you want to answered!
I was in NYC yesterday at Lincoln Center and saw Junk - the new play by Ayad Akhtar, whose play Disgraced we produced last summer at Pendragon. The Associate General Manager, a former student of mine, talked about their dedication to new works and how that is made possible by also doing productions like My Fair Lady. It struck me that Pendragon grapples with similar issues as these huge regional theaters. I often talk about Pendragon as a kind of regional theater in the Adirondacks. We run year-round and do plays often found on the regional theater circuit, rather than traditional summer stock. How do we do theater that is challenging, but often harder to “sell”? How do we meet our audience’s desire for both entertainment and transformation? Who is our audience and what do they want? Do we as artists have the obligation to both provide what they “want” and present something new? How do we do that and meet our bottom line? Which brings me back to Junk—and its message about the human costs of being driven by making money. As a not-for-profit, how do we balance choosing a season that meets our financial necessities and expands our vision of humanity and art? What is the human cost of being in the business of art? What is the financial cost of doing “risky” art?
These are the questions swirling around in my head as I think about our next summer season.