Washington D.C.'s theatre scene has been atwitter and aflitter over the past week or so. Why? Because monologist Mike Daisey's broadside -- How Theater Failed America -- has been in town at Woolly Mammoth, kicking up dust and forcing artistic directors and arts bureaucrats into defensive crouches.
The American Prospect just published my take on the show -- and in particular just how government might be able to embrace Daisey's vision of nurturing ensembles without pumping scads of money into the arts. (Which ain't gonna happen anyway, even with the promise of billions teetering on a trillion dollars worth of taxpayer-funded stimulus.)
I enjoyed the show, though I do wish Daisey had provided answers past a full-throated exhortation to revalue the present priorities of American theater by putting the artists at its center (actors, directors, technical staffers) ahead of capital campaigns to establish snazzy new buildings. But he's kicked off the discussion and where we -- the people who work in this art form -- take it from here is the important thing.