In the Intersection: Partnerships in the New Play Sector

In the Intersection: Partnerships in the New Play Sector

While it has become more acceptable for nonprofit theaters to collaborate with commercial partners, some believe such arrangements have a corrupting influence on the theaters involved, a report from the Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College finds. In the Intersection: Partnerships in the New Play Sector (175 pages, PDF) summarizes discussions among theater professionals in November 2011 about the efficacy of nonprofit-commercial partnerships for the development of new work, including concerns about conflicting goals and values, rising costs and risks, the likelihood that a Broadway run can change the artistic process and product, and the real possibility that such partnerships put nonprofit theaters on a legal and moral slippery slope. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the report notes that while there was no consensus among those engaged in the discussions, participants did have a number of broad recommendations: that regional nonprofit theaters be required to do more for artists; that they be required to do more for their communities; that they clarify their purpose/mission; and that they be prevented from engaging in collaborations that compromise their mission.