#theatrosphere responds to SummerWorks arts funding debate
by Michael Wheeler,
As moderator of the ‘An End To Arts Funding?‘ debate at SummerWorks, it seems unethical for me to engage in any sort of critique of the arguments presented Wednesday.
I hope to moderate more debates in the future, and I can’t have debaters wary that although I am quite pleasant in person, I’m storing their arguments for digital deconstruction post-event.
However, there have been a number of responses from people who were in attendance and have posted their thoughts online:
— Holger Syme (@literasyme) August 15, 2013
Hypothesis: the real market forces holding back theatre in TO are the costs of producing: space rental, wages. Not inability to sell tix.
— Rob Salerno (@robsalerno) August 14, 2013
Shop Talk #4 AN END TO ARTS FUNDING? was yesterday -here’s what you missed from the Blog:… http://t.co/IfpNHklXtX
— SummerWorks (@SummerWorks) August 15, 2013
— Jacob Zimmer (@jacobzimmer) August 15, 2013
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) August 14, 2013
And of course, before the debate Nadia Ross published this ‘opening statement’ here on Praxis:
— Praxis Theatre (@praxistheatre) August 7, 2013
Mr. Coyne conceded there was probably some role for the state to play in archiving and preserving great works, noting that mark of a great writer is their words survive themselves and their era.
As theatre artists, we can’t aspire for our work to be preserved in the same way. You were either there, or you weren’t, and you missed it. Gone forever. We can archive notes, programs, props – even scripts – but the work itself cannot be preserved (as Holger Syme also notes in his post to makes a different point) in a way that it can be reproduced .
This is neither here nor there with regards to the substance of the debate, but it reminds me that part of what makes live performance distinct is it is ephemeral and I am cool with that.