Hi! My name is John Rosenberg. I am not from here. I am from Los Angeles. So, I am not gritty like you all.
It was strange to me to see theater companies shilling for money on “Giving Tuesday” in the middle of a pandemic. It was strange to me to see the Wilma charging $100 for their buffet during a pandemic. But hooray! It would be boring if we were all the same. I am glad they do it so I don’t have to.
I guess what made me stop to say something was hearing the City was cutting the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the outcry from the theater community. I am sorry you might lose your monopoly money from the city. I am sorry taxpayer money isn’t going to support you playing make believe right now. But grow the fuck up.
I know you put on fantastic work. I know you put your blood, sweat and tears into your productions. Some of you are able to put on plays for next to nothing. Some of you need to drop $30,000 on a show. Just because you are an artist or a dreamer does not make you special or exempt from reality.
The arts deserve taxpayer money. Bring back the WPA writers program. Every play, stage crew animal, every actor (unless they are in my show) should be paid the wage they deserve. I am not a cynical person. But what the fuck are you holding onto? Things are not going to return to how they were before. You should have realized that when Fringe Arts cut the registration fee. Haha, they know Fringe isn’t going to happen.
If theater is supposed to tell the truth or hold power accountable or whatever you have in your mission statement, it seems strange to me freaking out when you lose your play money.
Money has no value. Embrace the fact that what you write and perform has zero value as well.
If you are the vanguard, if you are the tip of the spear, if art is your weapon…you can take it on the chin. Maybe don’t put on a play this year. Reread whatever made you a playwright in the first place. Donate your budget to a non-profit. Keep the money. Smoke it. Maybe learn how to do something else so when this shit ends, you can come back different. You can put on fantastic work for very little money.