Theater 10 Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves
posted by October 9 at 11:34 AMon
Brendan Kiley has 10 pieces of advice for theaters that don’t want to die. Here, randomly, is number 7:
Build bars. Alcohol is the only liquid on earth that functions as both lubricant and bonding agent. Exploit it. Treat your plays like parties and your audience like guests. Encourage them to come early, drink lots, and stay late. Even the meanest fringe company can afford a tub full of ice and beer, and the state of regional-theater bars is deplorable: long lines, overpriced drinks, and a famine of comfortable chairs. Theaters try to “build community” with postplay talkbacks and lectures and other versions of you’ve spent two hours watching my play, now look at me some more! You want community? Give people a place to sit, something to talk about (the play they just saw), and a bottle. As a gesture of hospitality, offer people who want to quit at intermission a free drink, so they can wait for their companions who are watching act two. Just take care of people. They get drinks, you get money, everybody wins. Tax, zoning, and liquor laws in your way? Change them or ignore them. Do what it takes.
The piece has been up for less than 24 hours and commenters are already losing their shit. To wit:
Brendan, this is the only thing I’ve ever read that you’ve written, so this is a reaction to this article; not your entire body of work. That being said, your writing indicates strongly to me that you are possibly a pretentious, self-important know-it-all … Do you, by any chance, wear horn-rimmed glasses and intentionally muss your hair several times per day? Just asking.
Get in on the fight over here.