Chapter 5

Please, Don’t Start a Theater Company!: Next Generation Arts Institutions and Alternative Career Paths

By Rebecca Novick

ABSTRACT: In the past fifteen years, the number of non-profit theater companies has doubled while audiences and funding have shrunk. Across the arts sector, thousands of young artists are flooding the field, hoping for sustainable careers in the arts while even our most venerable institutions are looking shaky. Neither the field nor the next generation of artists is served by the unexamined multiplication of companies based on the same old model. This chapter introduces some models for a new kind of arts institution, explores alternative paths for emerging and mid-career artists, and proposes a new definition of sustainability.

It is interesting to see Rebecca’s thoughts on this as The Global Theatre Project (www.theglobaltheatreproject.org) looks to redefine the relationship between professional artist, student and community through creating a model of education and community engagement activated in the creation of work which, additionally, addresses our global relationships. From my personal experience I find that it is not only important to contemplate the alternative paths for arts institutions, but additionally for international education. I find these two areas to be more significant and relevant if they find points of connection and, by doing so, we can create vital and viable careers for artists, educators and arts administrators which are responsive to our changing position globally.

Bari Hochwald 12.12.10 / 4am

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