Monday, December 15, 2008

According to The New York Times, the National Endowment for the Arts is releasing the results of a study today that reports a decline in audiences for plays. It also reports that audiences for musicals have grown. I'm not sure this is such big's been happening since the advent of television, to which many of the best dramatic and comedic writers for the stage are lured by the opportunity to make a living (the old adage about Broadway applies: "you can make a killing, but not a living"). Certainly, on Broadway and London's West End, commercial producers won't consider mounting straight play productions without well-known stars. The emergence of resident professional theatre in the U.S. was largely a reaction to this--as well as the centralization of American theatre in New York. Today's regional theatres remain the bulwark of dramatic art in our nation, and Orange County is at the forefront with South Coast Repertory as one of the leading developers and producers of new plays and Laguna Playhouse offering many premieres each season. Musical theatre thrives here as well with the Playhouse having specialized in small and mid-sized musicals while Fullerton Civic Light Opera mounts the large scale musical theatre classics and the Orange County Performing Arts Center maintains a steady flow of Broadway musical touring productions. So we have lively audiences for both in the O.C., and I'll be talking more about them in future posts. If you're looking for some great theatre, check out our theatre listings on SparkOC.

Until next time...


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