This looks like a pretty good read! Over at the New York Times, the author conducted a bit of a Q & A on the topic of his book. Check it out. It's so inspiring, it got me to thinking even I could start a theatre company!
Oh, wait ...
Something Mr. Nelson wrote in the Q & A caught my eye:
I wouldn't go LLC (limited liability company) because you're basically competing with non-profits. If they don't sell their shows, they can simply raise money from people looking for tax write-offs. If you don't sell your shows? Good night, and check please!This is the best argument for going non-profit that I've seen in a long time. (This is a topic I've blogged/hand-wringed about here, here, and here.) Not that I'm convinced, mind you, but it is a compelling argument nonetheless.
Mr. Nelson also unabashedly hits another nail on the head elsewhere in this Q & A:
Execution simply means you must consistently put up a superior production/product. Theater is a competitive game, so you might as well embrace it. If your shows are hot, trust me, audiences will find you.
There has been a big move toward community building in the LA scene, as if being part of a larger, tighter-knit clique held the cure to low attendance, a lack of relevance, and possibly cancer. I wonder what would happen if companies declared outright war on each other? At the very least, it would be interesting. (More interesting than pretending we don't compete for audience.)
[A clarification: I'm not advocating "outright war" between companies. It's just a thought experiment.]