The Playgoer: What's a "Season"?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What's a "Season"?

In addition to giving their space a snazzy renovation and technical upgrade, LA's Mark Taper Forum is going to try out a year-round schedule. As in, adjusting to a post-farming economy ,when no one needs to go take care of the harvest. You know?

Taper will then switch to a season based on the calendar year. CTG's [Center Theater Group] two other venues, the Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas Theater, will continue to operate on a September-to-summer schedule. The challenge will be attracting a theater crowd downtown at a time of year when the Music Center is generally desolate.

"It creates breathing room for the staff," [AD Michael Richie] told Daily Variety, "and will take some of the burden off scheduling of openings. It will require some balancing artistically, and if a formula existed we would have found it by now. The focus is on the quality of a show, and people will go through anything to see a quality show."

Ok, I know in some towns there's a good reason not to produce shows in the summer, if your population is just all at the beach or something.

But, for the sake of the profession at least, isn't this an idea whose time has come? Probably helps create more year-round employment for theatre folk. Plus expands the programming possibilities potentially (a "summer slot" could be a very different kind of show, for instance).

Hey, if the TV networks are breaking from the old "season" model, then what are we doing on it???

1 comment:

The Cosmopolitanist said...

Actually I believe it was the courts and parliament that were out of session (and out of town) during the summer. Screw the farmers (as usual).
I think they're adjusting to air conditioning, actually.