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Does this mean that "I Love You! You're Perfect! Now Change!" won't be coming to Seattle?

Posted by Ziggity | August 14, 2008 11:56 AM

Who wrote this article? Ron Paul?

Posted by P to the J | August 14, 2008 12:02 PM

cue COMTE to come in here and say that if actors don't take really shitty acting jobs for peanuts they will starve instead of possibly trying to find work in a different field.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 14, 2008 12:04 PM

No money in art, huh? You don't say.

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 14, 2008 12:31 PM

We need to find the actor that pissed in Breadan's cornflakes this morning...

Posted by natopotato | August 14, 2008 12:40 PM

I like the idea of burlesque and sex shows bringing in patrons to be exposed to less-profitable, more-artistic theater, but theater definitely doesn't have to be either stuck in the margins or whistle-clean. There are plenty of ways to direct federal funding into the arts without federal control. We don't have many institutions left in this country that have (relatively) consistent federal funding with (relatively) little federal interference but there are still a few. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institute come to mind. They're certainly not the BBC in terms of independence and finances but it's a start.

Posted by ragold | August 14, 2008 12:46 PM

Theater fails in general because let's face it, it's generally crap.

I love art. But the last couple of things we've been to have been terrible.

The Paramount could make events there better by having more comfortable seating. I'm willing to pay $75 bucks to see something, but not if my ass feels like it's on fire after 2+ hours. And my ass is padded.

Posted by Dave Coffman | August 14, 2008 1:06 PM

The WPA theater program did pretty well, at least until the conservatives inevitably killed it.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 14, 2008 1:26 PM


If actors do in fact take nothing but "really shitty acting jobs for peanuts", then inevitably they WILL starve, just like anyone who works a really shitty job for wages that would make "substandard" look like heaven.

And if they're forced out of acting in order to "find work in a different field", then they're not "actors" anymore - in the sense of having that be their vocation, as opposed to their avocation - get it?

Posted by COMTE | August 14, 2008 2:24 PM

i get it; most people that are professional actors don't make peanuts because most people that makes peanuts are only actors part time and subsidize their passion for artistic acting expression by waiting my goddamn table and being my goddamn servant.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 14, 2008 2:53 PM

and through all this people choose to pursue the career of acting, and they make a series of choices that either lead to success or failure as they define it. People choose to pursue careers and vocations and they only have themselves to blame if it isn't everything they make it out to be.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 14, 2008 2:57 PM

#10: You forgot the part where they spit in it.

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 14, 2008 3:03 PM

i can handle a little spit in food that they wouldnt be able to afford themselves.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 14, 2008 3:09 PM

Theatre's problem, and what will keep it on the fringe of culture for the foreseeable future, is that it stopped truly evolving as an art form after the 1960s, and many of the people who run theatre today are philosophical nostalgists who idealize the increasingly distant past.

Posted by Gomez | August 14, 2008 3:39 PM

@14 So what does the next radical epic look like?

Posted by ragold | August 14, 2008 3:53 PM

Good God, Brendan, you're a reporter? And you've never heard of the National Endowment for the Arts? Here is a list of NEA grants made to theaters in 2006 (the most recent annual report available on their web site).

Posted by kk | August 14, 2008 4:36 PM

Public, anonymous, giving in Japan is almost unheard of, especially in the arts. But it also also boasts a higher percentage of corporate giving to specific individuals and groups than the U.S. Traditions of on and giri (obligation and duty, respectively) come into play. As do concepts of the "group" and "family." A corporation is expected not only to fulfill the earning needs of owners and shareholders, but to additionally return--give--something back. As it was explained to me, when company "A" takes ore from the earth--a shared resource of the group--and manufactures a profitable widget out of it, there is an added indebtedness created to the group and a duty to return something back to the same--besides a profitable widget. (The Mitsui Corporation in part fulfills this charge by funding a massive bi-annual arts festival, on top of supporting individual "Living Treasures" within the Noh tradition.) This helps to engender the Confucian value of jin (humaneness.)

As Mary Evelyn Tucker writes in "Philanthropy in the World's Traditions--A View of Philanthropy in Japan: Confucian Ethics and Education"

For Confucius, the practice of humaneness has the effect of ripples in a pond, extending first to one's family, and then to teachers, friends, and acquaintances, and finally, to all within the larger region and state where one lives. Humaneness is thus particularized; it must have priorities along with expansiveness.

No, we will never be like Europe, but neither do we have to relegate theatre practitioners solely to the young or wealthy youthful elite. (Nor should we. To do so would be wasteful and foolish.) Nor can we look to blinkered government for financial aid. We need only take care of our family through a greater sense of humaneness. American capitalists, unlike their Japanese brethren, could use a little jin, on, and giri.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | August 14, 2008 7:13 PM

@17: Plus, giri-choco at work!

And for #6: Are you kidding? The National Science Foundation is most certainly NOT providing "little federal interference." The NSF doesn't so much groom grant applications as take a rasp to them. Only the ones that polish up real nicely get funding.

Posted by Greg | August 14, 2008 9:54 PM

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