taking a cue from eric dillner
it's been suggested that if...at the first protest outside the broadway theatre center when 70-80 or so people were milling around with donuts, coffee and bagels...if eric dillner had invited folks into the cabot theater to talk about what had happened, angry as they were, scary and uncomfortable as it might have been, it might have changed the tenor (no pun intended) of the whole debate. much of the initial anger might have dissipated, and the community might have been more willing to give dillner a chance. maybe not. if nothing else, it would have started a dialogue.
what happened that day instead? eric dillner, feeling incredibly uncomfortable and threatened, rushed by those folks standing outside the theater and said, "talk to the board."
good advice, i'd say. let's talk to the board.
talking to the board
how are you?
who are you?
we've heard from some of you, but there are others who have chosen to remain fairly silent throughout most of this. publicly, at least. and for varying reasons, i'm sure.
to her immense credit, board member tessa bartels has taken on the task of artist outreach with a fervor -- bringing artists and skylight board members together in forums to discuss not only what happened, but the way forward. the response has been incredibly encouraging. i think those board members who have attended would say the same.
we've talked about a few of the things the artists are doing to move forward. forgive me, but i am going to be so bold as to offer a few suggestions for the skylight board of directors. these are not fundraising ideas, nor are they thoughts on the company model in the future. they're ideas about how to get to know the artists, the art, and the skylight, a little better. something i think could have helped in the past.
"what should the skylight board do now?"
here's what i would challenge every skylight opera theatre board member to do:
1) attend one or more of tessa bartels' artist forums. engage in discussion with the folks there. believe me, they wanna talk to you. thanks, by the way, to byron foster, susan godfrey, john flanagan, diane weaver, storm elser and john shannon (board of advocates) all of whom have attended. where's matt flynn? where's vince shiely? where's howard miller? those artists wanna talk with you fellas too.
2) arrange to sit in on a couple of rehearsals of a future skylight show. barber of seville starts rehearsal in less than three weeks. give bill theisen a call and schedule a visit. how many of you have ever been in a rehearsal hall to see what goes on there?
3) visit the skylight shops. the scene shop, the prop shop, the costume shop. talk to barry link, lisa schlenker, and rob wagner about their jobs, what they do, and why it's unique. i know them all, and i bet they'd be happy to show you around.
4) last, but not least, read this: the 30 years war? a brief and subjective history of the skylight. it was written by a man i was surprised, no shocked to hear some of you didn't know before this whole saga began: colin cabot.
my dramatic, overblown reaction to that news was delivered via skype to a roomful of people and was, i'm sure, garbled and confusing as i foolishly ranted and raved about anyone who makes major decisions for the skylight actually saying "who is this colin cabot, anyway?"
i mean, outside of the fact that his name is on the theater, he used to scrub the toilets when he was in charge, and he knows more about the company on whose board you sit than all of us put together, why would you know who he is? i don't mean that to be snippy, it's just true. for instance, ask the box office folks who mildred lindsay was and they'll tell you, 'cause colin told them (the btc box office is named for her. it's a great story.)
besides all that, colin's about to write the first chapter on the company's next
now would be a great time to get to know him.