The Playgoer: Our Nonprofit-Theatre CEO's:
This built-in expectation that the grunts will continue to watch the income gap between staffer and leadership grow is crucial to our problems. Because it's true--Andre Bishop, Todd Haimes, many of these folks did ineed work for nothing while they grew their original companies. And they do deserve some comfort, some security, and, sure, some "reward," after all that.
But the feeling many get from that generation so often now is: "Hey, I dealt with it back then. So can you." Not in a mean way. But actually as if it's "character building," and all that. Or it's just the sorry reality, and always will be, given how much our culture shits on the theatre.
Keep in mind, when this generation of producers started out in the 60s and 70s, one could still rent an apartment in NYC--even Manhattan--for $200 a month. Or less. When the subway was a quarter. And even Broadway tickets were on average were under $40.
How anyone breaks into the theatre in this town today on a $10,000-$20,000 a year stipend and survives for more than a few years--absent a trust fund--is a miracle.