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“Why are we concerned with art?”

I recently came across an answer to an important question for me. It’s attributed to Grotowski, the great Polish theatre director and innovator.

The question: “Why are we concerned with art?”

His answer: “to cross our frontiers, exceed our limitations, fill our emptiness, fulfill our selves.”

Thinking about this question I guess is natural having concluded our first season while people are buying tickets and packages (happily with gusto!) to our second season.

As a not-for-profit organization enjoying an indirect subsidy from the government (ie: not taxed) we are obligated to provide a service to the public that would not be possible were we organized as a for-profit entity. So, what service ARE we providing? Why does it matter, and why should we be concerned with art, anyway? Grotowski  helped me sort this out.

The public service? We are bringing work to Boston that would otherwise not be seen in the community. We are adding to the cultural choices. And, we are doing so with access to affordable seats. I just paid $136 for a side seat in the orchestra of a perfectly diverting but less than memorable play on Broadway. Our average ticket price is under $40. We are also providing hospitality and enabling the work of younger artists and ensembles – helping to develop the art of the theatre of the future.

But how do we measure up against Grotowski’s standard? That’s what haunts me. It’s ultimately personal. What were your experiences in our first season and does the promise of our second season provide the opportunity to:

“Cross our frontiers, exceed our limitations, fill our emptiness, fulfill ourselves”

Let me know. Thanks, Rob

1 Comment

  1. Rob SchmiederJune 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I’ve been waiting a lifetime to see Peter Brook’s work live on stage. Thank you for bringing him here in your first season – and with rarely performed Beckett plays – so much the better!

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