This year I have had fun “discovering” Naatak Theatre, the campy, energetic, East Indian-American community theatre group centered in Santa Clara and Palo Alto. They have done so many things right that if you’re a theatre person, you really need to check them out. (Or if you’re not, check them out, too.)
Of course when I say “discovered”, I don’t mean the Christopher Columbus version of thinking I was the first one in empty territory. I realized before I attended anything that Naatak was in its twentieth (now twenty-first year) of operations,
For those of you who are poets, or whose partners/close friends are poets I can’t recommend enough times that you check out these two articles. David Alpaugh and I are long-time colleagues in the poetry world; we were in the same poets’ workshop in Walnut Creek about 30 years ago. He was just getting started as a poet; his day job was in PR/advertising. It’s not surprising that he had an interest in analyzing poetry as a “biz”.
Why is Theatre in the United States Losing its Audience?
Talk to anyone who works in theatre in the US—Equity or community or academic; regional or in New York City—and they can tell you about their aging audiences and their unsuccessful efforts to attract younger ones. They’ll groan about the constant fundraising. They’ll tell you of struggles to pay for the new light board, the new sprinkler system. And about the cost of royalties for those “must have” plays,
About twenty years ago, I joined a Bay Area organization called The Institute for Historical Study because I was writing my first history play for adults, A SHIRTWAIST TALE, about a garment strike in Lower East Side NYC in 1909. (see above) I had written several fourth grade history plays, and in fact had compiled a teachers’ workbook, CALIFORNIA HISTORY PLAYS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, that was selling well. I hoped to absorb clues from a group of history-o-philes for how to include the right information,