There’s an absolutely fascinating discussion going on as the result of a 7/2/2012 blog post from Diane Ragsdale. I plan to cover the main topic of that post at a later date but one of the ancillary issues stemming from the discussion worth your attention is what appears to be the onset of a budget size based caste system within the theater field.
This is applicable to the orchestra field in that the theater folks appear to be struggling with the very same issues that cropped up here a few decades ago. And even though our field has had a head start, that doesn’t mean we’ve evolved past some of the ugliness.
One of the most recent examples reminding us that the issue is not yet behind us was the recent Oregon Symphony decision to leave the League of American Orchestras due in part to what the organization defined as “mid-sized orchestras [carrying] a disproportionate share of the League’s expenses, given the way the dues are structured.”
There’s quite similar to what’s going on vis-a-vis the theater side of things, which apparently came to a head during the recent Theatre Communications Group annual conference.
In order to get up to speed on these issues, read this pair of blog posts from playwright Ian Thal, who worked at the conference as a volunteer.
Similarly, Thal’s points were hashed out in numerous comments to Ragsdale’s post and author (plus TAFTO contributor) George Hunka’s blog, Superfluities Redux, has some worthwhile observations in the following pair of posts, the latter of which contains some of my remarks sent to Hunka in an e-mail message (and printed with my permission).
I’m curious to know what folks on the orchestra side of things make of all of this so feel free to weigh-in with your thoughts via comment or get in touch to send a personal note along.