6-Word Theatre Dreams for 2012 & Beyond

January 3rd, 2012 § 2 comments

“How will you make theatre for a better tomorrow?,” I asked. “Send me 6-word wishes for theatre: play, company, field, artists.”

On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, I inquired of my Twitter followers (and some in turn then asked their followers) about their “Six-word theatre dreams” in variants of the same question: “What are your ‘six-word wishes’ for theatre to come? Dream show; career hopes; changes in business – your call.” “In only six words, what are your desires, plans, visions for the future of theatre?” “Theatre 2012 & beyond: how will you make theatre for better tomorrow?” “From limits, theatrical creativity can emerge. So what are your six word theatre dreams for yourself, artists, companies, or audiences? Imagine!”

After a slow start, the answers came flooding in and, for me, they provided an optimistic, inventive, creative start to the new year. The six-word form, which is certainly limiting, yielded answers that were practical, whimsical, inspirational and at moments even poetic (take that, haiku!).While the participants represent the barest tip of the iceberg of those who make and love theatre, they nonetheless paint  a picture of theatre’s possibilities alongside the desires we all have for the discipline. These are the dreams, in ultra-concise form; how many of them will — and how will they — be realized, in this new year or in the years to come?

A few words about my process: every response I spotted, if on topic, is included here (my apologies if I missed yours); not wanting to start placing limits too early in the new year, I have included multiple responses from those who chose to craft them, so a few who were inspired by the challenge will appear more than once. With over 100 replies, I decided not to attempt to organize these thematically, or with a singular through-line; they appear in alphabetical order, which serves to highlight certain themes and words. Even those single words are evocative: I noted ‘more,’ ‘accessible,’ ‘collaboration,’ ‘new,’ ‘work,’ and ‘risk,’ to select but six (in keeping with the original assignment) among those that recurred.

Finally, on the name of every participant, I have added a live link to their Twitter page. If someone wrote something that resonates with you, take the time to reach out to that person, especially someone you’ve not encountered before; follow them, ‘@’ them and strike up more of yet another theme found here often: conversation. “Social media” is a buzz-friendly construction, but new connections with those who share your interests, and our obsessions, is the most marvelous result of this still-new medium. You are not throwing thoughts out into a massive stream of incoherence; you are curating your own community and finding kindred spirits, in this case those who also have your passion for theatre.

Today I am merely a conduit. Revel in the ideas and ideals of those who are your friends, even if you’ve yet to ever meet them onstage, backstage or in the audience. Here are their six-word dreams — and perhaps yours.

*   *   *

A complete social media theatrical experience. @SimsJames

A Sondheim show in the Sondheim. @Dfact1

A spanking brand-new Sondheim score. @BlueskyFox

A successful non-jukebox Australian musical. @humphriesmark

Accessible, inviting. Engaging the audience’s imagination. @Gedaly

Accessible to all in everyday places. @TheatreSmart

Actors acknowledging crazy workloads techies have? @EmilySchooley

Alchemy over boilerplate, communication over sales. @Travisbedard

Always paid for work I love. @niclabonde

Amen. We re-own the creator’s dream. @HiQuity

Artists work with communities for good. @LindaInPhoenix

Audience feels something real during play. @Wmbish

Audiences choosing theatre over a DVD. @pearliestpearl

Bigger, better, faster, more (and original) @Lacatchat

Book of Mormon tix? Cheap! Easy! @Glennsumi

Bright, bold work supported and seen. @Poorboy_theatre

Bring the funny to the world. @Reduced

Bringing the arts back home. @Walt828

Candy wrappers opened before show starts. @AijaGreen

Challenge assumptions; examine biases; dream untethered. @Halcyontony

Clear visions of challenging new concepts. @SonnetInspired

Collaboration is key to creative success. @Donnachronicles

Collaboration as inspiration to the world. @TheatreSmart

Connecting the four generations working today. @TheatreSmart

Core shakers like Next To Normal. @twayward

Deep engagement, careful listening, connective questioning. @Matthewreeder

Desires-strong / plans-invisible / visions-scary @YesVersusNo

Disney over? Take two weeks OFF! @FriendlyLoner

Emerging dreams; landing real; refining play. @Lisalotta

Everyone being nice to the ASM. @Stagemanager92

Everyone involved who wants to be. @Lacatchat

Excellent, Relevant, Purposeful, Joyful, Accessible, Unforgettable. @Ddower

Extraordinary season: great work/smart investments. @ahrmi

Fewer premium seats in center orchestra. @GratuitousV

Find balance of creativity and marketability. @gabef1ores

Finish my Masters. Get a job. @Catipish

Follies gets filmed before it closes. @K_delrossi

For true collaboration, joy, humanity, community. @Sallycadeh

Funding for our company’s first season. @Askewtheatre

Get into (and outside) new spaces. @Lacatchat

Help make theatre relevant for all. @Kevinhoule

Honest work, accessible, friendly, thought-provoking. @Petricat666

I want to explore the light. @ReeseSondheim

Innovative forms of performance get funding. @LindaInPhoenix

Inspiration at each and every turn. @Keithbennie

Let’s revive original production of Pippin. @BlueskyFox

Lighting designers invited to first meetings. @LindaInPhoenix

Make art on my own terms. @MariahMacCarthy

Many brave, unconventional, bold original works! @BroadwayGirlNYC

Mary Stuart reopens with 2009 cast. @Raisins_Liasons

Me to We, Scarcity to Abundance. @Ddower

Mindbending fully produced dubstep space musical. @Musicisfreenow

Moments that make the hearts beat loud. @Failurefarms

More about art, less about money. @Kre8ivMona

More accessible. More diverse. More original. @CatPop

More arts funding support from cities. @EmilySchooley

More butts in more seats please. @Michaelhharris

More innovation, more David Cromer. @Alexqsmith

More opportunities for talented Canadian artists! @THEATREtc

More poor kids in the audience. @Buttercupples

More sharing of resources, talent, information. @Jfdubiner

More shows choreographed by Steven Hoggett. @TwoShowDays

More than forty percent houses. @Ryanroks

More youth audience for OffOff Broadway. @theaterfanatics

More new play productions, mine included. @GwydionS

Near West Theatre venue gets funded. @MarkWSchumann

New Broadway shows which ask questions. @stephtastic17

New original musicals not closing quickly. @Mdrnhousewivery

New plays get produced and thrive. @Bflood28

New voices, new approaches, new audiences. @Moorejohn

Newsies performed live in my kitchen. @Thecraptacular

No cellphones, talking, singing. (in audience) @Glennsumi

No electronic distractions in the audience. @Backstagejobs

Passionate tenacity leads to success, right? @JessKiva

Pay actors more, community involvement, laughter. @NSBTtheatre

Peaceful, productive three-department musical collaboration. @Naturalreadhead

Performances challenge audiences to THINK. @EmilySchooley

Personal, intimate, breaking all our expectations. @JessHutchinson

Play Harper in Angels in America. @SophG6

Plays people like better than movies. @MichaelRock

Popular, funny, life-changing theatrical experiences! @TheatreSmart

Produce the plays of unknown playwrights. @scriberess

Pub theatre pub theatre pub theatre. @dwbcampbell

Rediscover joy, inspiration, passion and fun. @Beth_wolf

Revival of Rockabye Hamlet – on Broadway. @Minisquiggs

Risk-taking, artistic integrity and conversations @Gbenaharon

Risk-taking new work. Balanced budgets. @RebeccaEnde

Rooms I want to live in. @Msteketee quoting @pollykcarl

RTC transfers Sons of the Prophet. @Shutterbug93

Sands shift, revealing new creative opportunities. @LindainPhoenix

See Art, Create Art, Support Art. @DFooksman

See one new storefront company/month. @ThtrBob

Sell out our run @americanrep. @thelisps

Serve the audience. Think outside box. @DarrenEdward

Shows that take me somewhere else. @GratuitousV

Socio-political Freedom through artistic liberation. @Occupyantigone

Steady work, inspiring teammates, creative progress. @ObsrvatnlstNYC

Students getting jobs in theatre industry. @Fmcctheatre

Summerworks selects Ten Foot Pole Theatre. @Robsalerno

Sustainable funding sources, embracing new voices. @Edenlane

Take big risks. Tell great stories. @CodyDaigle

The Mark Hellinger restored to legitimacy. @Kevinddaly

The world changes into something new. @OLittleGreenPig

Theatre as vital to American culture. @Fmcctheatre

To bring artists and communities together. @Dloehr

To change someone’s life with storytelling. @Amyjalltheway

To see MY plays Off-Broadway. @JOWinNYC

To think outside the box office. @Amyjalltheway

To work under a production contract. @BrittneyMorello

Want to make art? Do it. @Reynaldi

Women cast regardless of body size. @EmilySchooley

Work on something that really matters. @Roxiezeek

Working with former students. @Dramagirl

Write something more than a grant application. @Lacatchat

*   *   *

My six words for 2012? “I’ll see you at the theatre.”

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  • Thank you, Howard, for sharing these, and also for the live Twitter links. What a brilliant boost to 2012. YOU are a Twitter Treasure!

  • Cnharris

    I wonder, out of all of those, which six words were used the most often.

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