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Socialism, Party of One?

So the Chicago Small Theatre Summit happened.

My thoughts of course turned to my own desire to have a small theatre alliance in Austin. A group of indie theatremakers in town  to help avoid burnout due to isolation, to get off the hamster wheel of scene reinvention, to share resources and ideas, and to spark competitive innovation.

And I know it won’t happen.

There will be friendships and acquaintance-hood and we’ll go to each other’s shows. But no meaningful regular exchange of ideas will happen. Why not?

  1. We’re busy – Ask 10 groups when the best time to meet is – get 12 different answers.
  2. Different needs on different parts of the food chain.
    A 1 year old group has very different needs than the five year old itinerant group than the ten year-old landed group.
  3. People want the benefits not the costs.
    Everyone wants extra hands at load-in or a volunteer at the box office. But very few want to give up some of their limited free time (see #1) to BE that extra set of hands.

Or more succinctly put… the same problems as socialism anywhere.

We can be as socialist as we want in the corner, but as soon as you try to break that out to more folks you discover why the only socialist regimes on earth have been totalitarian.