In what may be considered the biggest out-of-town try out so far this season, leading profit and not-for-profit theatre groups will meet in Boston this weekend to explore areas of common interest and how the two sectors of the theatre world have continued to grow closer in the past quarter century.
Twenty-five years ago, a similar group met for the first time, but the meeting was characterized by sources as focusing on differences rather than issues of unity and common purpose.
On June 16, 100 members of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and an equal number from the League of American Theatres and Producers will join some 50 other theatre luminaries (including artists and funders) for what is being called act two [sic], or the 2nd American Congress of Theatre.
The First American Congress of Theatre (FACT) was held 25 years ago, and a lot has developed in the theatre world since then, sources said. The participants of "act two" are looking forward to a productive series of panel discussions, including an assay of the "expanding number of not-for- profits theatres that are exploring alliances with commercial producers," and "Socratic Dialogues" that may cover such topics as marketing and press, advocacy of theatre as a vital art form, commercial and not-for- profit relationships, as well as "the artists' role."
Some of the forums are open to the press, but not all. Strict guidelines were agreed to by the participants concerning media coverage. -- By Murdoch McBride