Social and economic influences on the future of theatre

The future of theatre is a paper my friend John is writing. This 5th question was very interesting: 5. Is there any social and/or economic politics that can effect or affect the future of building stages and theatre architecture?

Here’s my response:

In our age, fear is ruling the day with our economics. Less funding and shrinking budgets can do two things. 1) Make people fearful of losing their jobs and thus holding onto what they know what works. And they put any money into producing a more attractive show. Or 2) People face reality and see what the market is and react accordingly and innovate with less means.

In the creative world often the best creativity comes when there are limitations. We work with those means. If you see limitations as a reason to fear, you will have less creativity.

Plus as we produce more work creativity, we will turn to our audiences and engage with them more. In many ways. Through face-to-face feedback. Through online means. Through opening up our theaters and creating programs that bring more people in to collaborate. Not only in real space, but allowing the audience to use their own technology to capture the event and build upon it.

And as we bring community in, those with passion will perform works in their own micro-stages, both in real life, but also by posting performances to online arenas. Feedback and critique will become a fantastic loop that will draw more people in to be an audience and to participate.

Collaboration starts with caring for others. We need to put down our reasons to fear and our self-preservation and start caring more about others. Once we start caring and engaging with our audience, we will have more creativity.

Where there is creativity, life flourishes.

I really like this last line. Do you have any thoughts on the future of theatre?

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