A few days ago, there was a meeting of members of the local Ottawa theatre community to discuss various aspects facing the art form in the city. I highly recommend you read this post by Kris Joseph, not only to see what was discussed, but also to appreciate his insight and perspective on unification attempts in the past (go ahead and read it, the rest of this post might not make too much sense if you don't). Though it may seem like he's gotten 'mayyyybeeee a little bitter,' he's not wrong. All of this has happened before. Now can we make sure it doesn't happen again? I was the lone voice asking the linchpin question. I knew what would happen if I did. In fact, everyone there knew what would happen if they said the words. It's the 'he who smelt it dealt it' mentality. If you ask the question then the responsibility to answer it will fall squarely on your shoulders.
And you know what? I'm ok with that.
I've often wondered why I am still in Ottawa when there seem to be so few opportunities to work. I've also wondered what the hell I'm doing with a degree in Political Science. Maybe this is what I've been waiting for? Don't think I am doing this to be noble. There is a level of selfishness in my intent. After all, I want more work in this city for me. That said, I love this art form with a passion I cannot contain nor comprehend. In it I find magic, beauty, truth and love, and I will defend it until the day I die.
It won't be easy. Are you with me? (And please don't tell me here "I would if I had more time" - that honestly can go without saying. We all would do more if we had more time. What I'm asking is will you make the time?)
A few other people have now come out of the woodwork, voicing an interest in making things better. I'm sure they are sincere in their intentions (though, we all know what road is paved with those) and I don't know if that will translate into concrete action, but Mr. Joseph was looking for someone to step up so here I am.
I've started researching and I've set up meetings as I wait for the notes from our gathering to be distributed to us. In the meantime, dear theatre brethren from across the interweb, I would love it if you could let me know if there are independent theatre conglomerates in your city and how do they work?