Dubrovner thinks about the future of Mammoth theater

The Mammoth theater scene is on the up-and-up, says artistic director Shira Dubrovner.

All it needs is a vision, a business model and some way to capture and hold young people.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Dubrovner got a heavy taste of the challenges facing the theater last month at Directors Lab West in Pasadena, where she and other participants jammed a load of insight into eight days between May 19-26.
They also jammed nine plays in there, ranging from classical theater to highly experimental works by new artists and directors.

“It really gave me another level of insight of how to take performing arts in Mammoth to the next level,” she said in a telephone interview this week.

“It was about what I would like to do and how I would like to focus a more artistic vision and implementation.”

One thing for sure, she said, it’s not going to happen overnight.

“It’s going to be a process,” she said. “The Lab really opened my eyes to the thought processes I need, to have a more clear artistic vision of how I want the performing arts to grow, and also craft a realistic business vision of how we’re going to grow the audience pool so that people will want to come to Mammoth to see theater.

“I’m tossing around some ideas about how we can put Mammoth on the map as being a performing arts community rather than just a recreation community.

“Theater has had to go through tumultuous times with the performing arts industry,” she said. “The models that have worked before are not working any more. We’ve outgrown our audience base, which was the subscription basis.

“Now, everybody has the task of how to grow the audience, because all those people are passing away, and we’re not creating a new generation to help sustain and support theater.

“This is a global problem, not just in L.A. or in Mammoth Lakes. We need to figure out a way to introduce our youth so they are longtime supporters throughout their lives.”