Saturday, December 12, 2009

BoarsHead canceling the rest of the season

BoarsHead announced today it was canceling the rest of its season.

I've tried to withhold my opinion on this for a while, but I'll confess I'm angry. I'm angry at how BoarsHead has chosen to handle this for a long time now.

First, there was the ineptness in the firing of Kristine Thatcher. Even if they felt it was necessary, they bungled the handling of it. They treated her poorly and they treated their audience and supporters with contempt and arrogance. Theater is an art which brings a community together and helps them to make connections with one another. A theater cannot succeed when it tries to shut communications down and sever those connections.

A theater is not in business to sell tickets. If it is going to survive, it is selling an experience, an experience that involves people making connections.

Then with the most recent shut down, the board once again showed that it didn't understand what it was in business to do or how to survive. It was going to sit around and wait for corporate donations to come in.

I know that there were arts organizations that went to the BoarsHead board saying, "how can we help you?" But why wasn't the board out in the theater community asking for help? Why weren't they holding town hall meetings in which they invited their patrons in to talk to them?

Instead, the members of BoarsHead were told that they were not to speak to the public and a PR person was appointed who had not previously been a part of the arts community. There are influencers in our community who might have been able to help, but they were never approached.

BoarsHead was not beyond saving if it had been treated like an arts organization. Instead, it was presented as a business that had a need. Where was all the talk about how BoarsHead could help meet the needs of the community? How BoarsHead was important not just because they had existed, but because they could make our community better?

Honestly, why should people give money to a non-profit organization that can't properly articulate how it meets the needs of the community? Especially if that organization is supposed to be in the business of creating art with words.