A week after the Annual StageSource Auditions we received an unsigned letter here
in the office cataloging several problems the anonymous author had with the current state of the Boston theatre scene. Although many of these points have been made before at various Town Meetings and other forums I thought I’d post some quotes below to get the conversation started:
“Why bother being a member of StageSource? Why bother auditioning…..There is a small-town-clique of directors/actors who have created a “community theater” feel. We see the same people on stage over and over again”
As a service organization that stresses the importance of community building and networking I’m not sure that a “community theater” feeling is always necessarily a bad thing, but let’s continue:
“Theaters announce their seasons and their casts before even having auditions…..We all know StageSource auditions are a joke. Shows are already pre-cast. Actors talk. Directors don’t take a “chance” on new people.”
We have just posted a Producer Survey and Auditioner Survey and I would strongly
recommend that anyone who has thoughts or feelings about the current process please fill out these surveys with ALL of your comments. We use this information to make decisions about what to change and what isn’t working. Feedback from individuals who no longer choose to participate is as important to us as those that do.
“I choose to be in Boston, but we constantly lose talented people to NYC because they can’t get through the clique here. The Boston theatre community has SO many of us disenchanted…..The reviewers are sick of seeing the same people on stage all the time…..A LOT of people feel this way but don’t have the chutzpah to say something.”
Although my goal here isn’t to refute this letter line by line, I don’t believe that this is the major reason that any actor is moving to New York, a city that is exponentially more competitive, with an even greater insider culture than Boston. I would also argue that most major cities struggle with these challenges and that none of this is particularly unique to Boston. However, I may be wrong, what do YOU think?
“Is this really not going to change or be addressed? Don’t we want to better ourselves as a theater community? I think this is a VERY important issue for you to address with the theaters.”
We are happy to discuss any issue regarding the current state of the Boston theatre community and are always interested in your constructive solutions and suggestions to help redefine Boston theatre.
A few questions I have for the anonymous author:
Are you attending every single open call that you can? Are you preparing new material each time so that producers can see you in a new light? Are you reading the plays before you walk into a call back? Are you continuing your training on a regular basis to make sure that you remain both inspired and competitive?
If you are unhappy with the current state of the community, here are some ideas of
what you can you do to help facilitate change.
–Come to the Theatre Hero Bash. Attending and networking at these events is a key part of building relationships and making connections.
-State your opinion and leave a reply in the comments section of this post. You may absolutely agree or disagree with the comments above but let your voice be heard.
The responsibility falls on each one of us to show up and join the conversation. We all help to create community.