In Search of the Artistic Home

Jamie Gahlon has asked theatre artists from around the country to talk about their personal search for an artistic home. Bob Brustein continues this series.

What makes an artistic home?
An artistic home is established when a group of people collaborate together over a long period of time in order to reach a common artistic goal. It is also identified as a place where theatre artists, receiving a decent annual income, can build their own homes and families, without being forced into a gypsy life.

Where and how did you find yours and what does it mean to you?
I first found mine when I was acting with Group 20 at Wellesley's Theatre on the Green (1953-59), and learned that collective achievements were more satisfying than individual triumphs, juicy though those were. I have since tried to recapitulate that exhilarating experience by starting permanent companies at the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre, where actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians, and administrators can function as a creative family, developing their art in front of a familiar audience which watches the progress of a permanent company rather than a succession of hits and flops.  I still find this the most satisfying form of artistic endeavor.

An artistic home is established when a group of people collaborate together over a long period of time in order to reach a common artistic goal. It is also identified as a place where theatre artists, receiving a decent annual income, can build their own homes and families...

How can one create and/or build an artistic home for others?
By raising enough cash, from the government, private and public foundations, individuals, and if necessary from robbing banks, so as to create an atmosphere in which money—either from starring vehicles or Broadway transfers—is no longer the major motive for making theatre. This means a commitment to your artistic family rather than your own career.

What is the artistic home of the future?
Who knows?

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Thoughts from the curator

Theatre artists from around the country reflect on their respective "artistic homes."

Artistic Home

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