The Theatre Crisis Debate is Forgetting the Vast Majority of Theatre Artists

The theatre industry is crumbling? Us small-timers would like to have a word.

Megan Gogerty

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Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, Iowa. My artistic home.

Okay.

Theatres are crumbling, right? Hands are wringing everywhere! But I’ve felt weirdly alienated from all the sorrow, and it just clicked into place why: it’s not my world. I’m a good playwright — I went to a good school, I got some fancy awards, I’m proud of the stuff I make — but I’ll never be a darling. Oskar Eustis doesn’t know my name. And I’m too tired (and busy!) to keep knocking at closed doors. I’m a small-change artist, making small changes in a small town, and I’ve got a tiny little career I’m proud of that bubbles on here and there. And all this talk about artistic directors and theatre administrators who make six figures — I don’t know any of them. I know some artistic directors! They all make a about $40k. And they’re all theatre artists themselves — directors and designers and actors, who made the call that it’s better to produce your own work than keep knocking on closed doors. So this whole “how do we reinvent the industry to keep the bloodsucking administrators away from the precious artists” is a conversation that doesn’t bear any resemblance to the world in which I live.

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Megan Gogerty

Playwright. Comedian. Professor. Delightful person. Hailed by the Chicago Reader as 'blond-haired' and 'blue-eyed,' Megan Gogerty is 'a woman.'