I’ve had it up to my ears with people asking and discussing whether LA is a theatre town. There are hundreds of theatres and theatre companies. It’s as pointless as asking “Is LA a car town?” There are millions of cars, so I’d say yes.
But no one asks whether LA is a car town. They accept the fact that there are many cars, they complain of the traffic, but life goes on. So what’s the big deal about theatre?
I grew up in San Diego, a great city for theatre. Mostly consisting of Midsize theatres, and a couple big ones. No where near the hundreds of companies that Los Angeles has, yet no one questions whether it is a theatre town. Possibly because the artists there don’t have the inferiority complex that we give ourselves living in the home of the TV/Film industry.
No one asks whether LA is a Dance town, music town, fine arts town, or stand up comedy town. Can’t we just be happy with the fact the Los Angeles is hub for ALL arts?
What I think people are really asking is, “Is LA a theatre DESTINATION?” No. It’s not. New York is. Broadway is a tourist attraction, so is the Grand Canyon. In order to feel like we’ve accomplished something do we need to have tourists come see what we do?
Is it not enough to produce works that are exciting and relevant for the local population? That’s like a local popular coffee shop complaining their coffee doesn’t attract out of towners. WHO CARES?
If we keep the local population in mind and produce for them, I think we’ll create much better theatre than if we complain that New Yorkers don’t come to see us.
LA is a theatre town. Deal with it.