COMPANY: White Flag Performance Group

THE BEAR LOVES HONEY, White Flag Performance Group, 2013

THE BEAR LOVES HONEY, White Flag Performance Group, 2013

I am a co-founder of White Flag Performance Group, and serve as a company co-artistic director with my partner Sean Mahoney.

White Flag is dedicated to pursuing excellence in both theatrical process and product; exploring and expanding the ways and means of collaborating; creating new work for the stage; and investigating what theatre is, and what it is becoming, in the 21st century.

A major part of that investigation has to do with the shape of our company, and how that shape is changing and evolving over time. How do we want to structure ourselves? How do we want to relate to the public? How do we want to build audience?

In this moment in which the arts funding of previous generations is more a memory than a reality, and in which the subscription model is proving unreliable, what forms, practices, and shapes for a new theatre company can work? What elements can we borrow from other industries or disciplines? And what innovations can we instigate from within?

One idea that we’ve been trying out for the past 2+ years is to concentrate on touring. We find that traveling and shifting the context of our work complements, in a dynamic way, the devising process that much of our work is built upon. The creation and devising process has to continue after the show opens because the ground under our feet is always different, and the makeup, history, and context of the audience changes from city to city.

A huge challenge of the touring model, though, is getting a buzz going before we get to town, and getting people into the theatre once we do arrive. In the cities where we’ve had a good turnouts, being hosted by a local company & having an active buy-in from them has been the key.

Right now, we’ve put away our touring boots for a while in favor of a more rooted existence. I’ll post news, discoveries, and any really good stories on my blog as we move forward!

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