Good News From A Theatre Company

Monday, February 16, 2009 Leave a Comment

In contrast to the last post, here's some very good news* from the LA Times blog Culture Monster about the East West Players. They are celebrating their 44th birthday, making them the country's longest operating professional theatre of color.

What I liked especially was when asked why they had survived and thrived for so long, Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang said, "I think being calm and not jumping to any reactionary position is key to our longevity. Talking things out has always been important to us in bridging the many parts of EWP."

This is something we are frequently talking about in Flux - how best to bridge our many differences and become a more cohesive Ensemble. While we are not always successful, when we fail we try to fail in the right ways - through openness, access to process and honesty. As we move into our fourth annual retreat this August, I hope we can come even closer to articulating these values into an even more resilient and flexible process. And I find it both challenging and reassuring that when asked of their 44 years, Dang focused first not on fancy audience development or marketing schemes, and not even on the product itself; but on the calm and kindness his organization used in internal communication.

*(h/t Thomas Cott's "You've Cott Mail")