Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
As we reckon with what was allowed to occur for over two decades within Chicago’s storefront theater community, particularly the heinous abuses at Profiles Theatre, one argument we must be wary of is overly defensive members of the older guard shrugging their shoulders and saying This Is How We Made Theatre in The 1990s.
It’s possible to recognize that acclaimed productions of well-regarded plays featuring a great deal of sex and violence were done often in the 1990s without safeguards for the artiste while also acknowledging that it was not perhaps the healthiest way of making quality art. Musicians in the 1990s did a lot of heroin as a matter of course in their scene as well, and the reason we’re able to say that this was not a good thing in hindsight is that we can see the number of musicians who died from their habits while managing to create interesting albums.
The abuse suffered by theatre artists during this period was less visible than overdosing rock stars. It was not less real, nor was it less damaging. The Reader expose and its fallout is a declaration: Whatever may have happened in the 1990s or afterwards, it does not continue, going forward, in our theaters.