For real theatres, one task calls out above all others. And that is creating new work. In the living theatre, nothing is as important as continually writing the new, the unexpected, the shocking.
This is in stark contrast to the stock in trade of the mainstream theatre industrial machine, which focuses on the known, the comfortable, the safe. Most regional theatres are sink holes for money and focus mainly on keeping aging, over unionized staffs employed – not on producing the new works we desperately need.
Think about it. If some theatre somewhere sometime hadn’t done a bunch of new plays by some guy named Bill, where would we be today? But now our imperative is to deliver the same experience of new that those Stratford audiences got so long ago. Not to keep rerunning plays everyone has seen a zillion times because artistic directors have no idea what else to do.
Leading the way in the department of new, as they are wont to do, behold Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Don’t know the ‘stick? You should definitely check it out. These guys are a force of new.
In this year’s F*CK!NG GOOD PL@YS FESTIVAL, which runs September 10-17, the company does a reading of a new play each night.