Robert Whitehead and Brian Clark
In April of 1986, the day after their play The Petition, staring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, began its short lived run on Broadway, writer/producer Brian Clark and producer/director Robert Whitehead sat down with colleague Robert Pesola to discuss bringing serious work to Broadway. The two frame the discussion somewhat ominously; beginning by acknowledging that in the 80's bringing a serious play to Broadway is somewhat of a "deadly" prospect. They cover the state of the theatre in America and the dearth of talented professional playwrights due to the draw of film and television. They candidly discuss the relevance of critics from the New York Times and their influence on the success of a show. Whitehead talks about theatre as a dicey investment and his methods for securing funds to produce shows. The pair concludes by demystifying the concept of a "Golden Age" of American theatre, explaining that in this industry there is always hardship. But, they resolutely maintain that even (and especially) in times of distress the theatre will and must go on.