Enter stage left….
This is the communal theatre. It is run by a Foundation, but comes under the sway of the administration. For the last few years the director has been Simona Celi, appointed by the mayor to turn the place around. A couple of weeks ago she tendered her resignation as a cry for help, seeing that the comune still has to pay out 40.000 euros for the last season. The Mayor accepted her resignation as he has other plans for the theatre, except that apparently its nothing to do with him, and the Foundation is now sifting through possible replacements.
As someone who has worked for 25 years in professional theatre, it seems a little odd to me that teh mayor, who has absolutely no experience of the theatre world has decided he knows how to make things work. My experience of the Foundation assures me that they have no idea either – so we seem to be destined to another period of the theatre being closed.
Id like to point out a few facts to the mayor and the Foundation.
- A dark theatre doesnt earn money
- Successful theatres over the last 20 years are those which open their doors to the community; they become places to meet, places for young people to learn and participate in projects
- The future audience must be nurtured. The theatre is not a place for the elite to wear furs and be seen. It’s a communal environment where people learn team work, as well as theatre skills – from public speaking to theatre lighting to makeup. The product, whether home grown or imported, has to appeal to the existing and potential audience.
- The catchment area of a theatre with a product is not just Modica.
- 3 websites, none of which have been updated for a year is not a way to run a business
- A season is not 10 performances.
I hope the mayor is intelligent enough to appreciate that a theatre does not run itself. It cannot be planned from one month to the next – it needs an overall vision for years in advance. It needs to create goodwill and support, but most of all enthusiasm. From all the people involved.