A letter from the Independent Theatre Coalition of Washington
We support theatreWashington’s decision to set compensation requirements for their professional theatre awards because we believe ALL artists are entitled to better pay. It is unfortunate, however, that tW’s approach to industry leadership and reform so often serves to filter and exclude the lower economic demographic of artists and their audiences, whether intentionally or not.
To that end, we are forming the Independent Theatre Coalition of Washington to promote and support the work of non-union independent professional theatres. We define “Independent Theatre” as ARTIST-DRIVEN ART. We believe that a professional artist must receive compensation, but recognize that professional artists choose differing career paths, and professionalism can not be defined merely by rate of pay. Some artists work their way up the ranks of the union theatre structure, while others prefer the freedom to pursue a unique artistic vision and make a long-term investment in their art.
DC small independent theatres are those testing new waters and molding the future of our city’s art. It is time for our companies to stand up proudly and show DC the exciting work we are doing. We must celebrate our excellence and innovation, embrace new artists and new audiences, and grow our theatre community in fiscally responsible and sustainable ways.
All non-profit companies located within a 30 mile radius of Washington, DC, who employ a majority of non-union artists, and whose tickets prices don’t exceed $50 are welcome to join. As a member, your voice will help shape the mission and projects of the Coalition.
Please visit us at indietheatredc.org for more information. We hope to hear from you.