Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Thread, September 4, 2011

The Thread

Hudson Village Theatre, a company off the Island of Montreal which is known for its summer fare, has become ground zero of a discussion that has national implications. Two weeks ago the artistic director of the company, Andrew Johnston, was told that his contract would not be renewed. A Facebook group was formed to support Johnston, with much of the discussion taken up by anger at the board, which had decided to change the model of the house and invite, instead, guest artistic directors to helm the summer season. An editorial appeared on this site, followed by a lengthy letter from well-known director Guy Sprung, now artistic director of Infinitheatre (read his comment following the editorial). Briefly: the editorial said, referring to the board, "...[it] takes[s] a village for a theatre...any theatre from Stratford to Village, from Ship's Company to The North Vancouver Community Players. And like it or not, the village cannot survive without some damn good bean-counters." Sprung riposted with "The only solution (for the moment) is for the artists themselves to build their own Boards. To surround themselves with a group of caring individuals from all walks of life, who mirror and represent the theatre’s audience and who are there for the Art not for their own egos." The question: Should artists have complete control over subsidized houses - why or why not? Discuss.

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