As I write this, big drama is unfolding in the big O. And it’s not between Mimi and Rodolfo (read: it’s certainly not on this stage…I know it’s rehearsal and all but for the love of all that’s Holy…put some life into it will ya?).
Almost everyone I know in town is because of a little touring wing of a very large community theatre. Largest in the nation. Said theatre is, like most non profits, in a bit of a heap lately. Gentlemen’s aggreements have been made to share manpower and supplies. Things are more likely to be recycled into future productions. Resources scavenged and borrowed. All for art. Or whatever.
Sidenote: I gave up on theatre as an art form many moons ago. I love the thrill of a challenge, the casual uniform and the power tools. We all have our reasons to do it and it’s not for the paycheck. If there is one. It’s really hard work. But I’m not sure what else I would do with my life. But I digress…
Some people take the industry way too seriously. Their whole world revolves around the texture of costumes or whether the orchestra pit will be filled elbows to assholes with strings and horns. I get that.
But what I love, love, love about theatre is that when you mess with one bean, you are messing with the whole burrito.
A beloved director was fired on Tuesday. And then the second director (his ex wife no less) quit. And then the show that was to open in 9 days had 75 percent of its cast members quit in protest.
Breaking story in the paper. Letters and meetings and phone calls. Facebook posts. Comments. Outrage.
The masses are angry. One bean, whole burrito.
And rightly so.
The man behind this (El Presidente if you will) is not an artistic man. Doesn’t know a thing about theatre if anything at all it seems. He has already turned one local institution into a parking lot and seems bound and determined to do it to another. I think that El Presidente has underestimated the burrito.
He claims that “they” did what “they” had to do in these tough economic times. Maybe so. But when you take what so many people love and toss it to the side, it could cause them to pause. I have. If you take away something that I love, you clearly don’t understand its value to me. I would never, ever take duckie away from Ella. Duckie is her nightly companion, her security at the dentist, in hotel beds and right before playdates with a new friend. Duckie doesn’t mean anything to me. He’s a dirty stuffed toy. Many more like Duckie have gone on to better homes via goodwill or other notable charities. If I sent away Duckie or put him in the trash because I though his fuzz was too dirty or his feet were losing their stitiching, Ella’s world would be over.
El Presidente, this is how we feel. Our security blanket…our first love…our first tour…our first standing ovation has been trashed. Tossed to the side because you don’t understand or care what that means to us.
This bean, part of the much, much larger burrito, is not going to stand for it. And *will not* be happy until you, sir, are taken down. Mark my words. This will not end well for you.