The administrative structure of a theater (a particular theater or a class of theater) mirrors the political space afforded it, and that space always (?) endorses the existing practices of political dominance. For a theater to model alternative approaches to power, it needs to maintain itself outside of the permissible space. It may be however that the space of escape is also shaped by the conventions of dominance, to belittle and confuse the exceptions, setting alternative theaters against themselves and spinning audiences off into daydreams of a post-art world where grace can be achieved without coarse noise. For a theater to live outside of oppressive tactics, it must be well self-examined, in order to liberate itself from use of mirrors to those tactics. This is true esthetically as well as administratively (esthetics being the administration of hope).
This is all distinct from content, or qualification as avant garde. Often the avant garde, in applying itself whole heartedly to a life at the garde, assumes a confirming shape. So – auteur directors fomenting whirling gorgeousness are at prime – auteurs. To what extent does this model an authoritarian state dependent on charismatic leadership? To what extent are bootstrap ensemble companies ingesting a program of failure and restrained ambition in tacit cooperation with congealed privilege? Auteurs are capable of sharing power, without fully stepping out of the robes of charisma; ensembles can gather strength, audacity, and clarity of articulation in speaking chorally – with a network of networks serving as their gathered personality (the personal charisma of… the corporate margin?). Both are fraught.
It’s that problem again – how do we speak to damage without confirming its language?