What happened to the Melting Pot?

I found this article comparing the poster art for different productions of “Red,” by John Logan. While the comparison of the poster art is interesting, the article sparked other ideas.

Almost 30 theatres across the country, from Arizona, to New Jersey, to Florida produced “Red” by John Logan in their the same show in the same season. This kind of exposure is similar to what a touring show would receive.

I am torn between thinking this is exciting, and thinking this is scary.

All of these regional theatres recognize the high quality of “Red”, and it is exciting to know that audiences across America have access to good plays.

But what does it mean for America’s culture if every region shares the same taste? I guess I thought there would be more diversity between north and south, east and west. I mean, I suppose it is great that we can have a uniting taste for theatre, in an otherwise very separate nation. But would a more diverse theatre scene coast to coast help to cultivate new artists from different regions and thus new work? I also found that a number of theatre included “God of Carnage”, and “Next to Normal” in their 2011-2012 seasons.

Aren’t we supposed to have different values, styles, and tastes from coast to coast? Not that unity is a bad thing, but shouldn’t these different regions cultivate very different kinds of art?

I worry that so many theatre companies across the country have similar seasons means that American theatre is becoming less diverse, and less interested in creating, and discovering new work.

This only makes me more certain that I am going to have to create my own theatre and my own jobs after graduation. There is not a strong demand for diversity, or new work, so as the next generation of theatre makers- we must demand that of ourselves.

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