A while back I wrote a post about the absurdly long lead-time in theater, which I referenced recently, and which I forgot was inspired by something said by J. Holtham at 99Seats, where he now references the idea again. (Got that?)
Anyway, this is still true, and still explained by J. Holtham better than I did or could:
I remember reading once about the news business, how radio and TV and, now the internet, are great for breaking news and constant updates, while the newspapers give you a little more distance and perspective and then finally, the news magazines give you the fullest view of the story, since they’re the last to hit the street. …We’re the magazines of the entertainment world.
…We can miss out on stories, miss out on moments when the iron is hot to strike. By the time theatre gets around to a story, everybody’s heard it, decided what they thought and moved on. We cede ground to Law & Order.
I still think the answer may be small, seasonless theaters that can be nimble, get plays up quickly, and let them run as long as they are relevant to the community.