Worker-owned Co-operative Theatre Company

Warehouse

Warehouse (Photo credit: Pete Zarria)

It’s official! I’m moving to California! And for a number of reasons, I wanted to let you know.

What, you might wonder, prompted this sudden plan for a change of coasts? It isn’t sudden: for four years I’ve been slogging away trying for a job in my profession here, there and everywhere. The competition is overwhelming, the arts economy is stuck in the doldrums (read: toilet!) and, needless to say, I haven’t got that job yet. Finally, it seems more sensible to just pack up and go and let the fates have their way with me. At least I’ll be warm!

Right now, I’m sorting through all those belongings I don’t really need and can’t fit into my tiny Honda. Recycling all those ridiculous amounts of paperwork we’re compelled to keep filed away. Selling the furniture, the dishes, the silverware, the plants—everything!

And I’m truly excited about heading to the land of endless summer again!

I plan to leave after a final performance of a new solo-piece I’ve been working on, “Poet in Amerika: In which an oppressive and intangible system keeps putting the protagonist into bizarre situations.” Even though it’s a solo-performance, I’ll be incorporating a film of some of my talented friends and colleagues reading from my poetic works into the show. This day-in-the-life of a poet premiers on Friday, March 8th at the Hooker-Dunham Theater for friends and supporters of Acting On Impulse Theatre Company.

As for the Company, it’s heading to California, too.

And some big changes are in the works:
1) We’re reorganizing into a worker-owned Cooperative theatre company! More to come on this in the next few posts.
2) We’re looking to buy/lease and renovate our new home to be 100% sustainable! That means totally off-the-grid and completely recyclable wherever/whenever possible. 0% waste. 0% carbon footprint.

These 2 new directions have long been my personal dream. I’m scouting now for cities with empty warehouse areas or defunct shopping centers that I and my fellow artists can revive and renew.

I want to take something that’s gone fallow and breathe new life into it. But a life that is based upon respect for all!

Want to be a part of this? Let’s talk!

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6 thoughts on “Worker-owned Co-operative Theatre Company

  1. Where in Cali are you moving to? I am currently migrating back and forth from San Diego to the Yucca Valley and am just starting to get back into the theater scene again.

  2. Most any city in Southern California has the empty spaces. The issue is the financially supportive Community. I live in Ventura County with a miriad of small (Community) Theatre companies all scrambling to stay afloat. We also have the Rubicon Theatre (a regional theatre) as well as touring companies dropping in at the Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza. But Downtown Ventura has an avid nightlife that with the right group and the right material could have a stab at success.

    • Michael, Thanks for the thoughtful response. Yeah, I have been running a small theatre company for 10 years in southern VT and know the challenges when it comes to funding. That’s why I propose we in the theatre world think outside the box when it comes to organizational and funding issues. In this society we’re pitted against each other, competing for little or no financial support in the arts. Why not work together, share, and step away from that model of organization?
      You’re points: the right group and the right material are salient ones. I believe the right group is one that’s courageous and bold (as well as the usual requirements of talented and skilled). One that’s willing to seize this moment in time and ask, “How can we create something with/by our work that’s heading in the most fulfilling direction for all concerned, not just for this moment, but for the future? Not just a momentary fulfillment (like applause or current box office returns), but building on something that can help us as a whole in the long run?
      These are some of the questions I’ve been grappling with over the years and I believe theatre needs to be addressing them.
      I’ll be developing more of this on an upcoming blog post.
      Thanks again for the info about Ventura County.

  3. WoW! I think this is truly an awesome idea. It is so expensive to rent space to perform, it often feels like a no-win situation. Writers (as myself) love to write and actors love to act! However, the forum to have the two bring it to life on stage is often discouraging. It seems we do long, hard work; investing our time and our talents and the venues get the benefits. I fully understand that it’s expensive to maintain a theater. But it also takes money to keep our work active. It’s rare that I can even make enough (after expenses) to afford the next show:( I too am contemplating California. Currently, I reside in Orlando, FL area.

    • Thanks, Denise. Couldn’t agree more.
      I checked out your website and find we’re working along similar lines. Hope our paths continue to cross in creative ways!
      I want to rebuild a part of town that’s waiting for a group of artists to move in and revive it with wildly creative ideas and goodwill… with great storytelling at its most basic and elegant… where the company is a whole organic group of artists working together to bring out the best in each other and offer that to our audiences. I hope to find others who’re interested. Love to hear more about your possible move.

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