New Years’ At The Alchemist
Another Conversation About The Future of Theatre In A Pleasant, Little Bar In Bay View
My wife and I had arrived at the Alchemist Theatreâ€™s Bay View Lounge in the first hour of the New Year. Weâ€™d come there straight from another party in Bay View. A song by Journey was playing when weâ€™d gotten there. It was a generally hip atmosphere populated with a fair number of comic theatre people. Being relatively late in the evening, there was a fair amount of inebriation in the room.
I ended up in a couple of long conversations . . . I couldâ€™ve sworn that I talked with Matt Richardson for something like a quarter hour about the future of local theatre . . . off in the distance, people were dancing around to â€˜80â€™s music. There was a prop sword involved. It was that kind of atmosphere. What the Alchemist's Aaron Kopec had hoped would be a casual New Year's Eve party had moved in a high energy direction. And tgere I am at the bar as Matt Richardson is trying to tell me about his theory for a non-profit theatre model that doesnâ€™t rely on a Board of Directors . . . at least, thatâ€™s how I remember it. It was a very strange conversation to be having in the atmosphere. I wasnâ€™t nearly coherent enough for the conversationâ€”tired and bleary and up quite a bit later than I am normally and I was trying to hold a conversation about the hazy aspects of the future of local theatre.
And the more I talk with other people about these things, the more Iâ€™m convinced of one thing--The big non-profit model of local theatre with a handful of groups getting large sums of money is fine, but its ultimately unsustainable. Of course, Iâ€™m not as familiar with the way things work in offices behind the stage. The business of the arts is tricky, but Iâ€™m fairly confident that thereâ€™s a better way of doing things.