Arts Administration     Gallery Management

Theater Management
By Performing Arts Division

Three parties involved in a performance hall are audience, performer and theater staff. When people shout for cultural and artistic reformation or deplore its stagnation, the blame is almost always directed at performers. Either glory or reprimand is attributed to performers. All that is done within the discussion of a handful of art critics or zealots rather than derived from general interest of the public.
However, from now on the relationship of these three parties will get more interdependent or for that matter, the gravity is likely to be shifted to the audience. It is in the same context as sports is taking shape as a public property from the elite privilege of the past. General audience do not buy logic. Performance should be a comfort to contemporaries. It should be something they come to look for themselves.

Grandly speaking, culture and art are susceptible to the laws of production and consumption not politics or policy making. A performance should be produced to satisfy the needs of a voluntary consumer. Self-ingratiating, pompous works will be shunned. Performances armed with logic and cause will have difficult time persuading audience.

Thus performance hall should be a natural link that bonds the work and the audience. Viewers are entitled to gaining contentment commensurate with money they were willing to pay, time and trouble of coming all the way. Performers and theater staff should play their part well not to betray audience's expectations.

In that sense, a performance hall should be operated based on some firm principles

First, a performance hall should be run from the perspective of users. Here users mean both the audience and the performer. It should be managed and operated efficiently to cater to the various lifestyles of the audience and at the same time to provide the environment for performers to do their best. There is no doubt that user convenience should be given a higher priority than managerial efficiency.
Second, a performance hall must have a 'consistent direction.' It may also be called professionalism, which will help face the multilateral, individualized inclination of modern society. Consistency could mean controlled quality or specialization of a specific genre. It could even be differentiated by time. Yet a hall should still be run in a way users can anticipate or predict. A performance hall requires a unique identity widely known to the public other than its official title.

Third, a performance hall should be run by professionals. All the people working in it should be faithful to work ethics. While it is a place for relaxation for ordinary people, it is a place of work for hall employees. This is the precondition for the first two principles.

Fourth, people should be aware that a performance hall is more than a mere place of consumption. Today as is characteristic of other service industries, appreciation of performing arts should not be seen as a simple act of consumption. Like medical service and repair of home appliances, performance itself is a value-adding activity, and for viewers it is becoming an indispensable commodity of their daily lives.

It is very recent that the process leading up to the staging of a performance has taken its modern shape as it is today. Now a performance hall is gradually expanding its dimension; it is reaching into cable TV and video industry, looking over leisure and tourism business. Not only showing performances, it educates people providing them with a chance to participate in the actual process of creation. People are more and more drawn to a performing center thanks to all this. In conclusion, the very existence of a performance hall of the future will be precarious unless it shares the sentiment with people.