Running Regional Theatres
On January 7, 1987, Artistic Directors Nagle Jackson (of Hartford Stage) and Mark Lamos (of McCarter Theatre) sat down with director Mary Robinson to speak about leadership in regional theatre. Jackson and Lamos discuss the challenges they face throughout their day-to-day routines and the struggle to balance the administrative and artistic aspects of the job. These artistic directors offer insight into the politics of and logistics behind choosing a season and the effective means to attract new audiences while continuing to appeal to current subscribers. For both Jackson and Lamos, risk and experimentation are paramount to feeling artistically fulfilled. They find that the younger generation does not respond to the tradition of season subscriptions, and both strive to alter the expectations of their audiences and spontaneous single-ticket buyers. At the end of the night it is about that communal catharsis -- and that is why audiences go to the theatre. This practical conversation is an intimate peak at the life of the artistic leaders behind Hartford Stage and McCarter Theatre's success and growth over the years. The listener will gain a richer understanding of what it is like to maintain and nourish experimentation within the administrative and artistic departments of regional theatres.