"We Only Do Second Productions"

Comments

1
2econd Stage Theatre in NYC - Second Stage Theatre was founded in 1979 by Carole Rothman and Robyn Goodman with the purpose of giving new life to existing plays and is now a beautiful Rem Koolhas designed off-broadway theatre. They appear to have expanded their mission to include premieres since I worked there, but it was pretty cool to see playwrights like Mamet and Albee come in and tinker with their old work.
2
Endangered Species Project has certainly found a good niche. Doing readings of long lost plays that don't get produced anymore. I must admit, I didn't think that would work at all, but they're selling like crazy.
3
Let's start a theater company that does all productions in the nude. Nakedly Waiting For Godot! Little Shop Of Naked Horrors! The Naked Lottery! You get the idea.
4
Seattle Public Theater and Theater Schmeater are really great about this (though each usually throws one classic into the season). It's one of the reasons they're both my favorite theaters in Seattle.
5
@3 - I like it. Would have improved The Consul a great deal.
6
Essentially, a lot of the ethnic theaters in America do this; everyone WANTS to do a good play and picking up a show that has done well elsewhere is a good bet. That's how COWBOY vs. SAMURAI by Michael Golamco and EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM by Rey Pamatmat has made the rounds.

No reason it can't work for other theaters; a good play is a good play.
7
Honestly, I think it's a great idea. And that's literally the only reason I think it won't happen.
8
What really needs to happen. We need more mid-sized theatres in Seattle. All these little companies fighting for the scraps need to start merging. How many small companies out there have duplicate missions? So, young theatre artists, instead of running off and starting yet another fringe company that will do a couple shows and then disappear - why not just join another small company? I think this is something groups like Shunpike should be encouraging.
9
Of course about 90% of "world premieres" don't deserve a second production because they're awful to begin with and didn't actually deserve a first production...

And, theater's new lust for premieres is equivalent to film festivals lusting/insisting on the same.
10
I like #8's idea of small groups collaborating/unifying but it probably won't happen. Everyone wants to be a chef and no one wants to be the bottle washer. I call it "Fuck You, I'll Start My Own Blog!" Syndrome...I think it's a condition peculiar to Seattle. No one wants to collaborate for fear they'll lose power or be exposed as a lighter weight artist in comparison to those with more talent.
11
Michael, if what you say is true (I never completely trust the 90% stat: seems too much like an ass-pull), then this idea of Kiley's would act as a strong second sorting layer to the putative pipeline.

Evolution doesn't really work without multiple iterations of selection.
12
Seriously. If a play doesn't deserve a second production, it'll show up. For my purposes, if a play got a production, it's a sign that there's SOMETHING there. Whether there's enough there for me to produce will depend, but it's a better sign and tool for me to winnow through the chaff.
13
But will the media actually cover this Theatrrr of 2nd Runs? Because that's the main drive behind the World Premiere Mania.
14
Lumping a bunch of small fringe companies together does not result in a mid-sized theatre company that produces quality work. It results in too many people pulling the organization in too many different directions- at which point the company either collapses, or the people in charge have to make decisions about who stays and who goes, whittling down the staff back down to only a handful. The mid-sized companies that are successful in Seattle - NCTC, Seattle Shakes, Book-It, etc. - do not employ a lot of people. There simply isn't room for a young theatre artist to join up and start collaborating with them unless they're hiring... and then competition is fierce.

The best thing young theatre artists in Seattle can do is produce their own work. If that means forming a wee fringe company with a few other like-minded individuals, doing a few shows, then dissolving that company a few years down the road- who cares? It affects those directly involved and nobody else. I'd much rather have this city be a booming mecca of new work being produced by emerging artists who are still learning their craft than have a bunch of talented young people sitting around on their asses, not gaining any experience because Michael Strangeways thinks they should be working for someone else or not at all.
15
Michael, I'm really surprised to hear you say that small Seattle theatres fear collaboration. My experience is the exact opposite. I find there is a tremendous amount of support and cross-pollination between smaller Seattle companies, and I've often heard theatre artists from other cities comment on that and remark how unusual it is compared to other mid-sized theatre towns where there is more competition and everybody tends to stay in their own corner. I think it's one of the strengths of our community, actually. I have a few theories as to why we have this super power, but since they are having a fundraiser tonight, I'll just mention one: 14/48.