In the midst of two online discussions about whether theater artists are like professional blackjack players and whether theater artists are able to make a living, Don Hall takes a step back and questions what exactly theater artists are doing in the first place:
One area that it seems we in the theatrospheriums seem to want to avoid talking about is that for most people in the United States, theater is either an esoteric anachronistic past-time for Other People, a once-a-year amusement park ride, or a thing their kids do in school. The handful of us that feel theater is an important cultural contributor is smaller than the number of people who attend Comic Book Conventions across the nation. In essence, for most Americans, theater does not matter in any way whatsoever.
….Mike Daisey comments that a major difference between a gambler and an artist is that a gambler contributes nothing to society at large and that art does. Really? What exactly does art contribute if most people (and by “most” I mean Almost Fucking Everyone in America) don’t give two shits about it?
Should lead to some good comments….