Theatre Company Brain Dump

by Cole Matson

Here’s my plan for the next few years:

2009-2011: Second BA in Theology at Oxford University

2011-2012: M.Litt. in Theology, Imagination & the Arts at the ITIA at the University of St Andrews

2012-2015: D.Phil. in Theology, Imagination & the Arts, ditto

Doctoral dissertation: The Moral Responsibility of the Christian Artist

And then? I’m currently thinking: Create a Christian theatre company.

Here’s my brain dump about my ideal company:

1) Excellent work. In contrast to the view that seems to be prevalent about Christian art, at least in the U.S., having good intentions does not excuse mediocre work.

2) Do only plays that will contribute something to the world – are edifying, or hopeful, or morally exemplary, or challenges us as human beings.

3) Involve the community, whether by doing world premieres of plays by local playwrights, or supporting young artists, or doing talkbacks and discussions. Be sensitive to what the community wants and needs.

4) Eventually would like to do 12 shows a year (like Spotlighters, the theatre where I currently volunteer doing box office, and teach during the summer’s Young Actors’ Academy), but at minimum, 3-4.

5) Actors, directors, designers, technical personnel, and staff are all the same people, and all work together as an ensemble. Each person works according to his strengths, and therefore no one person will take on all roles unless he wants to, but every person will take on more than one role.

6) The company will work with local churches and be of service to them, whether providing space, being involved with worship (as the company members choose), or helping host activities and discussions.

7) Perhaps affiliated with the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s C.S. Lewis College? It would be awesome for the College’s Performing Arts Center to have an Equity theatre affiliated with it, or at least a high-quality professional non-union theatre.

What would you like to see in a Christian theatre company?