An honest question:If the petition was: “Re-instate Ken Gass or close the doors of the theatre forever” would you sign?
If “no”, what is the difference between the above and a boycott?
As I’ve said before, I think sometimes theatres should be closed, so it’s not a crazy idea that the call be “Ken or nothing.” I might actually be able to get behind its honesty.
Despite my public application, becoming the artistic director of a theatre with 35 years of baggage and a new explosion of dysfunction is, surprise, surprise, not my dream job.* Nor is taking over a worn heritage building in the midst of condo developments.
There’s a church for sale around the corner from my house that I’ve got my eye on. A space with an elevator, industrial kitchen, big front yard - perfect for a creation and performance space with some offices and space for a day-care and food program. It’s in an emerging, economically and ethnically mixed neighbourhood – my neighbourhood. (BTW, remember when theatres led, as opposed to desperately chasing, demographic shifts.) This is my real dream job – for Small Wooden Shoe to have a home to call our own, a home to create the kind of space I would like to work in, to live with.
But, even given the various councils’ current re-thinkings**, the chance of developing the public funding stability that would enable us to cover the operating expenses is next to nil. There is simply little to no room in operating budgets – especially for another Toronto theatre led by a balding white guy (which, given the state of things, is fair.)
So, I (and the others Wheeler thinks are applying in secret) am left with the dream of making something we can believe in with the hand-me-downs of previous generations.
Which is not our dream, but that’s reality.
*not to mention, I don’t think the board is going to agree to resign in order to interview for the position.
** Re-thinks are being challenged/complained about – quietly – by the mids and bigs currently holding all the funds.