Thursday, May 29, 2008
Charting the season
Always seeking to make our aesthetic assessments more accurate, I thought I'd borrow a page from business consulting and see if I could "chart" the spring theatrical season against two axes. The results are above, with axes for "Material" ("Was it worth doing?") and "Execution" ("Did they make it worth seeing?") - rather a rough fudge, I admit, but I'm still toying with how to express other data. In the meantime, I find the results intriguing (your data, of course, may differ), and even somewhat heartening. It was nice to realize, for instance, that I could really compress the "Not Worth Doing/Not Worth Seeing" quadrant - only a few theatre companies were foolish enough to mount weak scripts (chosen, no doubt, for their clearly-targeted audiences rather than their actual quality), and of those most nevertheless managed strong productions. Perhaps somewhat discouraging was the lagging "tail" of flaccid versions of the classics, but these were overwhelmed in sheer numbers by the number of scripts that were worth doing, and done well, with at least half a dozen hitting the "sweet spot" of worthy script and worthy production.