Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Birth of a Star

Greetings GreyZelda followers. Rebecca and Chris are taking a much needed break and traversing the Southern portion of our great nation, so guest blogger here, Nicolle Van Dyke, Managing Director.

I will fully admit to not being as involved in the electronic mediums most theatre companies utilize these days (including our own) and have vowed to change that. It has finally happened,,,,I'm an officially twitterer or have twittered (and will not attempt the past tense, as it may offend).

My first twitter filled me with great anxiety. It's like having a blind date and wanting to make an excellent first impression. So, I chose a phrase from a dear friend's refrigerator magnet, don't judge, because it resonated with me.

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." Nietzsche

We have been running around lately, most of us, chaotically pursuing the "Chase Giving Campaign" carrot and while you can argue for or against all you want, few people have noticed that theatre companies are actually "Talking" about theatre. I can't recall the last time I've seen dialogue amongst Storefront Theatres regarding 1. What is Art? 2. What do you have to say that deems you more worthy than other companies to receive a grant or donation? and 3. Whose main task is it to fund the arts and take responsibility for a production, be it a success or failure? All previously listed questions are excellent, and we are communicating the answers, most of us.

I know some bile has been spewed by negative comments, finger pointing and the "Who gives a shit" bloggers, but here's the thing folks....regardless of what the "Chase Giving Campaign" has intended to do, it has us asking vital questions of our Theatre Board Members, Actors and Directors. The "against" camp has posed some interesting questions regarding the debasing nature of chasing votes, which sparked furious debate and the validity of what constitutes fundraising and what constitutes begging,,, fine porcelain lines involved there!

The majority of us pursued theatre or created/joined companies so we could say what we wanted to say, when we wanted to say it, which makes for extremely colorful discussions among educated and passionate people. I think it is more than safe to say that freedom of speech is alive and well within the Chicago Storefront community and it makes me unbelievably proud.

It has been amusing, frustrating, hurtful and inspiring to read/watch the posts flying back and forth.........in a sense, witnessing the frenetic energy that has become the quest for the "Holy Grail" of grants.

I know the reason my first twitter seemed so appropriate to me. We theatre folk all seem to have the chaos required to give birth to a dancing star. I sincerely hope we have the fortitude, gratefulness and commitment to nurture that star once it arrives.

I'm not going to link you to the "Chase Giving Campaign" again. Chances are, if you are reading this, you know where to find it. However, please take a look at the newly re-designed www.greyzelda.com, where we are discussing our new projects, blogging and doing our damnedest to nurture those stars as they show up on our doorstep.

Best to all.