by Rio Mitchell
This Fall in Montreal, we watched as MainLine Theatre pulled themselves out of a $15,000 deficit with the help of many individual donors, and a great fundraising campaign. The campaign was predicated on this: 'MainLine is the home of english indie theatre in Montreal- it has grown into an important institution- artists and audiences alike would be losing so much if MainLine shut its doors forever'.
MAP's next show is about God, and the nature of belief and spirituality.
We at MAP are constantly asking ourselves: 'why make theatre… why make this next show?'. What do we have to offer to the public that we expect them to buy into and participate in? I think this is a very important question for all artists to ask themselves- and a question that I often see the lack of in crowd-fundraisers for artistic ventures on Indiegogo or Kickstarter, with cheeky 'perks' like "for $100- we will think of you each night before bed in thanks. For $150- we will be eternally grateful and give you a 150-second group hug". I realize this is supposed to be funny, but I also think it indicates a lack of consideration of the question "what DO I have to offer? Am I just putting on this show because I really like to put on shows?" …don't get me wrong, a passion for what you do is incredibly important! But, just like any business, the central thought must be 'what do people need or want, that I can give in a unique, awesome, and currently unfulfilled way?'. A baker doesn't just bake bread because he wants to- he bakes it because its more delicious, cheap and/or convenient then any other bread around.