02 Feb

Ben Cameron’s speech at ISPA

I just stumbled onto this speech, and I think it’s worth reading. There’s a lot here. Take a breath, get a beverage and block out some time:

http://www.ispa.org/ideas/cameron.html

Here are two tidbits:

1. “We may be in the arts looking at the world—watching our audiences shrink, seeing subscribers decline, standing by as organizations teeter and fall—through the lens of scarcity, when the world—especially the young—are playing in a field of abundance.”

2. “Theatre practitioners how report growing audience resistance to encountering any idea not instantly recognizable as one’s own, an increasing polarization in our country, for instance, that led members of the audiences at last year’s Tony winning Alliance Theatre to exit en masse, mid-act, climbing over others, when a character said, “If I had time with George Bush, I’d tell him to share his toys and play nice with others.” For so many, the encounter with the other, with difference, with the new lies at the heart of our missions and purpose: what will it mean for us if we lose this appetite as a society and wish only to encounter the familiar, the known, the already embraced?”