@Google: Rick Lombardo: Theater in a Digital Age

PAUL RUSH: Hi, I’m Paul Rush. I work in Platforms, but when
I’m not working, I do a lot of other things, including trying
to see good theater. I’ve been a subscriber
with the San Jose Rep for many years. And last year, I joined the
Board of Trustees there. As a result, I’ve had a chance
to work with Rick more directly than I just
did in terms of seeing his work there. I actually got to work with
him a little bit more. I can’t tell you how actually
valuable it is to be on the Board and recommend that for
anybody who’s interested. In any case, Rick’s been
with San Jose Rep for about five years. I think this is your fifth
season and has been directing a number of plays, including
the currently running “Disconnect.” Rick Lombardo. RICK LOMBARDO: Thank you. So I thought I would talk to
you guys a little bit about what my journey has been to
becoming an artist and why I am an artist and why I think
that theater arts in particular are going to continue
to prosper and thrive in this world we live in which
is so digitally connected. But where my belief comes from
about that, about the sustainability of live theater,
goes back to the roots of why I do it
in the first place. So, allow me a short story of my
path to being an artist and specifically a stage director. When I was young– and by the way, what I mean by
that is middle school years, early teen years– I was dabbling in all
sorts of arts. I put a darkroom in my
parents’ basement. I was acting in high
school plays. I was getting all the kids
in the neighborhood there together, grabbing my dad’s
Super 8 movie camera and making fiction movies of an
invasion of our neighborhood. I was playing in a rock band. I was doing all these things. There was clearly some creative spark that was involved. But I never thought or believed
that my path was to be an artist. I came from a working class
Italian-American family in New York. And I was second generation. And in my family and with all of
my friends who were in like situations, you were going to be
some form of professional. You were going to be a
doctor or you were going to be a lawyer. That was what the path
was supposed to be. My grandparents had
been immigrants. They never had a college
education. So therefore my dad had a
college education and went into business. And therefore I had to go to
graduate school and take on a profession. And I just assumed that that was
what was going to happen. So I was doing all these
creative things. And at the same time, I
applied to university. I got into a prestigious
pre-med program. And that was it. I wasn’t going to do anything
creative any longer. Now I was going to begin
my life path. And I stayed true for
about 2/3 of my freshman year in college. And then I got sucked back in. I got asked if I would
play drums in a band. And I started to
do that again. And then the real thing that
happened is that I saw there was a notice for an original
musical that was being produced by the undergraduate
drama club. And I guess I’d just gotten a
little bored at that point with just doing my studies. I said OK, I’m going to audition
for this play. And I’ll end my year doing
this original musical. And I did that, and of course
what happens with theater is that you create community, both
with the people who are participating in creating and
then with the people who come to experience it. It creates community. And as often happens with
theater, I found myself plopped into a new family
right away. For some reason, and I will
never really know the reason for this, one of the graduating
seniors in the Drama Club, said to me you know,
we do this production every year for incoming
freshmen during Orientation Week. And it’s usually something
small. Would you come back early from
summer vacation and direct it? And to this day, I don’t know
why I was asked to do this. But I said sure, I’ll do that. I mean, maybe they asked you
because they thought I was the only sucker who would come back early from summer vacation. I’m not really sure why. But I did, and I directed
this play. And many artists speak about
having a moment of epiphany. Epiphany can be when you’re
working on a project. You’re trying to tell a story,
and you get a sudden insight or strong intuition. You get an answer. Sometimes epiphanies literally
are bigger answers. Moments where our life takes
a new direction. And for me, I feel like
everything in my brain lit up, when I started working
on this. Everything that I had wanted,
everything that I had been dabbling in, my love of
literature, my love of thought, my love of
storytelling, my love of making pictures, my love
of using music. As a stage director, it was
about pulling all of these tools together and orchestrating
all these tools, while, also working with other
human beings, while working with a family of artists
to create something. I had this wonderful experience,
and then the next day, sophomore year started. And for me, the beginning of
sophomore year was also day one of organic chemistry,
second year of pre-med, Georgetown University, being
taught by a very, very famous internationally-known
biochemist. And I’ve already bought about
$250 worth of books and lab books and lab materials. And I sit down in the lecture
room, and this professor is talking to a room full of
would-be practicing physicians. He’s a research biochemist. He wants to give the message
that really people should go into research and not
into practice. So he did the standard
“look to your left, look to your right. One of you will be a doctor.” And then he said I just wanted
you all to know that I believe that the only really viable
career for a person of intellect is in the
natural sciences. And I remember writing in my
notebook, writing down that he had just said that. The only viable career for a
person of intellect is in the natural sciences. And I looked at it,
after I wrote it. And I thought about it
and just thought no. And I stood up, closed my books,
and walked out of the lecture hall. Walked down to the Registrar
and changed my major. I did eventually finish with
a psycholog degree. I realized that why I actually
wanted to be a doctor was more that I was fascinated
with human biology. And for me, that fascination
came down to what we are. What are we? What are we made out of? I was fascinated with that
aspect of humanity. When I took this moment, I took
this right turn, and I decided I’m going to get
a theater minor. But I’m going to finish my
science degree, and I became a psychology major. For me, the turn was about
that my fascination is actually more than what
we’re made out of. My fascination was really more
about how we are, how we behave, how we live, how
our mind works, what it means to be human– on not just a biological
scale, but on the mental scale. And I did finish with a
bachelor of science in psychology. And of course, I learned a great
deal about how the mind works and about how we behave. But in the meantime, I kept
doing lots and lots and lots of theater as an undergrad. I ended up directing
10 or 11 plays. I ended up acting in maybe
an equal number. And as I was approaching
graduation, I decided that I didn’t want to be some type of
practicing psychologist or clinical psychologist or
experimental psychologist, but I’d now decided I really
wanted to be an artist. And I wanted to be a director. And now this new turn, which
was to be an artist, for me when I look back on it was– I was no longer really
interested in how we are. I was no longer interested in
just how the mind works. Now I became really more
interested in why we are– for me, the basic existential
question. Why do we exist? What does it mean to be human
and to have consciousness in this world that we live in. And this realm, the questions
that are in this realm, for me, are answered in three
possible ways. Religion attempts to answer
this question. So you can choose a life
of spirituality, which wasn’t for me. Philosophy asks this question
constantly and addresses this question in every possible way
that can be done with logic and thought. For me, I found that too dry and
not as passionate and not as powerful as the third
way, which is what I think artists do. I think that artists of every
stripe, in whatever the medium happens to be, whether it’s
writing novels, whether it’s painting, whether it’s
composing, whatever it is that one does, I think the artist is
always nipping away at the fringes of the question of
what does it mean to be human and why? Why? Why do we exist? What is this time that we have,
this limited time that we have, what is it about? What are we to do with it? And what does it mean that we
do these things together? So I chose a life as an artist
and have spent the rest of my career never coming to an
answer to that question, because I don’t know that it’s
an answerable question. But every play that I think that
I’ve done, every story that I’ve ever told on a stage,
I know in some way frames this question in a
slightly different context, in a slightly different world, in
a slightly different cast of characters that are thrown
into a situation. But when we sit in a darkened
theater, and we watch a story, we watch a story play out, I
think that we’re addressing in dealing with a very primal
aspect of what it means to be human, which is a need to
explore our lives and the meaning of our lives
through story. I think story is a means that
we understand our humanity. I think this happens actually
on a DNA level. For me, there’s a reason why,
when we go into the sleep state, every evening, we must
dream, and we dream in story. It’s another way that we
process our day-to-day experiences, our tragedies,
our hopes, our fears, our ideals, all of those things
that make up our lives. We go into the dream
state every day. And we go into story state. In our waking lives, what I
think story does is the story helps to define our
identities. And I think this is a
very, very ancient part of being humans. I like to believe– and I think I’m writing this– that probably the very first
artistic act that ever took place in our evolution as a
species was probably a moment when some early, early human,
part of some early tribe, at night around a fire, stood up
and told some kind of story. Now maybe that story was
about a creation myth. Maybe that story was about the
flood 10 years previous that changed the tribe. Maybe that story was about
the great hunt. Maybe that story, whatever it
was about, was a moment where folks sitting in a circle shared
something that started to create for them
an identity. And I think that as humans we
create our identities through our stories, that we’re
actually nothing without those stories. If I were to ask you how do you
define your family, what you would start to do is tell me
stories about your family. And we have fabulous stories. If I asked you what do you think
it means to be American, what about a national identity
or a cultural identity, we create that through
our stories. Whether it’s the founding of the
country in the Revolution or the Founding Fathers
or or-or-or-or– whatever our individual points
of view are about national identity is based on stories
and our interpretation of those stories. History is a series
of stories. Our personal identity, how
each one of us defines ourselves, is based on the
stories of our lives. So for me, telling stories is
not something that one does for entertainment. For me, telling stories
is a fundamental act of being human. And theater is a vehicle. Theater is a model that
we have created for a way to tell stories. Now there are lots of
ways that we tell stories these days. Movies do an incredibly
wonderful job telling stories. Completely different
type of medium. I’m going to talk about
that in a minute. Television tells stories. It borrows almost all
the techniques from film, from cinema. Novels do an incredible
job telling stories. Theater does its job
telling stories. I don’t think any one is
stronger or better than the others, because they
each work on us in completely different ways. When we read the novel, we enter
the world of that story. We control the pace. We read the novel
at our own rate. We read it all at once. We read it in bits and pieces. We go back and we
reread sections. We develop relationships. We create in our minds’ eye what
the world of the novel looks like, what those
characters look like, what they sound like, because we are
completely left to use our imaginations. Cinema is the complete opposite
of the novel. Cinema is primarily a
storytelling medium that tells a story through picture and
powerful image and some dialogue, but more skewed to
powerful image and picture than to dialogue. The difference, of course,
between cinema and the novel is that cinema is immutable. In fact, it doesn’t ask
us to bring our imagination into it at all. Cinema is a much more
passive experience. However powerful it is– and
it’s very powerful– It doesn’t ask us to engage in
the imaginative way that the novel does. The novel asks us to work. Cinema asks us to receive these
powerful images, usually on a massive screen. So I often think about the
difference in movies– and I’m going to talk in a minute
about theatre– by the way people sit
in those seats. Because they’re the
same seats. In a sense, they’re the
same darkened room. But in a really good movie, you
still are probably sitting back and just letting the
experience and the sensations take you over. You want it to transport you. When we go to see “Avatar,” we
want to be taken somewhere. When we go to see “Gone
With The Wind,” we want to be taken somewhere. When we go to great theater, and
when I watch audiences– and this is what I do
professionally. I watch audiences watch plays. When I watch an audience watch
a really great piece of theater, no one is
sitting back. Usually people are
sitting forward. Because theater, drops into that
spot between the novel– for me. It drops into that spot between
the novel and cinema, where we see what the characters
look like because, they’re inhabited
by the actors. We hear how the characters
speak and sound, because they’re inhabited
by the actors. But theatre still requires us
to engage our imagination. And some of the greatest modern
theater asks us to engage your imagination
quite a lot. Sometimes it takes place on
bare stages, and it’s just great words and great
actors, asking us to fill in the picture. This goes back to Shakespeare’s
theater. When an actor walked on the
stage at the Globe Theatre in London, there was no scenery. The stage looked pretty much
the same for everything– maybe a chair, maybe a thing,
maybe an extra curtain. But you were at the
Globe Theatre. So in “As You Like It,” a
character walks on stage and says “this is the forest of
Arden.” There’s no trees. There’s no leaves. There’s none of our high-tech
lighting that allows us to see ooh, it looks like it could be
lighting through a forest. It’s daylight in the
Globe Theatre. A character says “this is the
forest of Arden,” Shakespeare give the characters incredible
poetic imagery to speak. Poetry that contains enormous
visual pictures. And then we engage
our imagination, and we see the world. Theater still works the same
way that it worked for Shakespeare. It still works the same way it
worked for Aeschylus and Sophocles in the
Greek theater. And it probably still works in
the same way it did when that early tribal or cave dweller
stood up and started telling a story. It’s really not very
different. So I think of it with what I do
and what theater artists do as actually being connected to a
very, very, very long thread with a very, very, very
ancient art form of storyteller and story,
which is really all theater ever needs. A very, very influential modern
director who I respect a great deal was Peter Brook. And did you ever read Peter’s
book, “The Empty Space” while you were studying? He wrote a book called “The
Empty Space” that was incredibly influential
in the 1960s. And one chapter starts off
with the question “why a chair?” And the question meaning
why a chair on a stage or why anything on a stage? That anything that’s there
should be there to help tell the story, but you really don’t
need anything to create an act of theater. An act of theater could
be created right now. I could start telling you a
story, and there we go. And we’re off. It’s theater. A story with a point, a story
with dramatic tension, a story that in some ways takes the
listener on a journey, which ultimately is what the
storytelling of theater is meant to do. When theater works best, a
story begins on stage or wherever, in a circle, and it
allows the audience– the listeners and the viewers– to begin to imagine themselves
walking in the shoes of those characters. That moment of transference
for me is the moment of engagement with the play. That’s what theater does. We begin to walk through
the play with Hamlet. What would I do at
this moment? Would I make that choice? And when we create that
connection of empathy and we begin to walk in Hamlet’s shoes,
I think we’re doing a very similar thing to what we do
in the dream state, because as we confront the choices that
that character makes, we’re confronting the choices
of our own lives without realizing it. But that’s what the moment
of engaging with the art does for us. It’s why we crave it. It’s the most powerful form of
entertainment, because we’re living and breathing
through the story. Where it’s different
from cinema– cinema does these incredible
pictures that I wish I could do, but I can’t. Because there’s no way that
live theater yet can match that level of technology
and close-up. It just can’t do it, can’t do
close-ups, can’t do that level of intimacy. Yeah, we do– so we can do a spot. We can do a spotlight. Big deal. So the things that cinema
can do, we can’t do. What theater can do that cinema
can’t do is the fact that whether the audience
realizes it or not, theatre is a much more dangerous
act of art. Because the movie is never
going to change. No matter what we do as
audience, if we laugh, we cry, we gasp, if we stand up and
shout, if we start screaming at the stage in protest,
the movie’s just going to keep spooling. It’s not dangerous that way. In the live event, there is an
inherent element of danger that makes it different. At any moment, something
new can happen. And whether the audience
knows it or not– I think they understand it
on an intuitive level. I understand it on the
literal level– is that their participation and
their presence changes the event, that they’re actually
a co-creator. I think this is one of the
lasting aspects of theatre as an art form that will maintain
its relevance. Theater has always been an
adopter of new technologies. So new stage technologies
come along– [SWALLOWING SOUND]– theater
just absorbs it. New electric and electronic
technology comes along– [SWALLOWING SOUND]–
theater absorbs it. We’re getting new digital
technology next. Theater absorbs it. They just become tools to
throw in the toolbox to telling a story. Theater will become
very high-tech. It’s pretty high-tech today. It’ll become even
more high-tech. It will remain theater, as
long as there is a live element and as long as there is
an element of danger that the live actor will fall
off the tightrope. That element of danger is what
separates any live act of performing arts. And I think that will
never go away. I’m intrigued by what’s
happening with music, for example. These days, not only
is recorded music– not only does it sound
spectacular, it’s also for the most part free. You don’t even have to buy
it anymore really. You can get live music– you
can get recorded music anywhere you want it, any time,
pretty much for free. Yet live concert sales are
higher now than they’ve been in recent memory. So what is it that’s still–
the sound is inferior. It never sounds as good. The venues are kind of shoddy. I mean, what is it however that
makes someone want to go in a 14,000 seat arena, 150 feet
away from the performer, for their music experience? And why will they pay $100
for the privilege? I believe it’s that element of
danger that remains part of live performing arts. Also that element of being part
of a communal experience and being in community. I think that we– again, I go back to DNA a lot. I think part of the DNA of the
human animal is to be tribal, is to be communal. For some people that means going
to church every Sunday or going to synagogue every
Saturday or whatever it is that they do, is that they come
together in community. For some people, it’s found
through politics. For some people, it’s found
only for family. For some people, it’s
found through music. Some people, it’s found
through sports. I mean, let’s face it. I’m a Boston Red Sox fan, and
I know people who go to 65 games a year. That’s where they would rather
spend 65 summer nights than anywhere else was being in that
tribe, with that communal experience. That’s quite dramatic,
by the way. That’s a story with a beginning,
middle, and end every night. Very definitive story. People crave stories. That’s why they love sports. They love sports, because
they love stories. The stories of the players,
the stories of the teams– it’s all about stories. But that needing to come
together as organisms, as organic beings, in a space. What theater asks us to do is
come into a room with a room full of stranger, sit in a chair
in the dark next to a stranger, and then open
our hearts and open our minds together. And over the course of the
evening, if it’s a really good production, if it’s a great
tragedy, if it’s a great comedy, we began to laugh
as a community. Or we will grieve
as a community. When Lear comes out carrying his
dead daughter Cordelia in his arms, we will grieve as
a community with him. And there’s something that
happens in that room. After doing it hundreds of
nights a year for almost 30 years now, I know that there
is something that happens in that room. When you combine all of
those human energies– we’re just beings of energy. That’s all we are. When you bring all of our
energies together in a space with the energy of the artists
and a powerful and compelling story takes place, there is some
type of transformation that we are hungry for and that
we need and that I think is what theater– which will sustain theater as
we continue to move forward into incredible new realms of
tools and technologies. I don’t know what they’re
going to be. But we’re going to
use all of them. We’re going to use 3-D
holographic actors alongside living, breathing actors. We’re going to do all that
stuff, all that stuff that folks in this building and
others like it in the Valley are going to be creating. We’re going to use all of it. But there’s still going to be
this ancient thread, I think. It has to be dangerous. It has to be alive. We have to come together
to do it. Those three things will
make it theater. So I want to tell you a little
bit about the Rep, then. Have you guys been to
the Rep before? Have you been to San Jose Rep? Well, so we’re in the middle
of downtown San Jose. We’re the flagship regional
theater for San Jose and for the Valley. We have a 500-seat theater,
state-of-the-art built in the mid-’90s. We do seven shows a year. And we try to lean towards
contemporary work, a couple of world premieres this season,
interesting new plays. And we look for actors from
around the country. So, for example, a play we have
right now on our stage, half the actors are from LA. Half are from New York. We try to bring in the best
artists from both our region and then from around the country
to work with us. The theater is 32
years old now. Like Paul said, I’ve been
there five years. The previous artistic director
had been there 22 years, with a long, long tenure. And I hope that at some point
you guys will come and check out what we’re doing. We should take some
questions, right? Yeah? AUDIENCE: So you talk a lot
about storytelling. RICK LOMBARDO: I could have
just told you why I think art’s important. But I think by telling you a
story of how I got there, it’s clearer, right? And it means more. I think the challenge is that
it has to be something that starts in the early
years in school. And unfortunately, we live in
an era right now where the things that teach storytelling,
which is literature, studying more
literature, writing classes, art classes. These are the things that we’re
not putting much value on in early education anymore. We have this great impetus right
now on science and math, science and math, science
and math, which is good. I studied science and math. But I was very lucky that while
I was studying science and math, I also had great
teachers in literature, in English and the humanities,
in history. History tells us the
great stories too. But I don’t think we study
history enough these days. We don’t learn enough
about how we’ve arrived at where we are. I think unfortunately American
culture is very much about the moment. It’s about this moment and the
next moment, very rarely about the past moments. And we learn so much from
the stories of the past. So how to teach people
to tell stories– I think it’s about exposure
at a very early age. How you take an adult who has
never studied the humanities and literature. I think it would be a journey of
starting to recommend some great novels, starting to
recommend some great movies, starting to recommend some great
theatrical experiences, and then asking people
to talk about it. Because we’ve also, I think,
unfortunately lost some of our ability to talk. And that’s where
storytelling– storytelling is an
oral tradition. Something is happening in our
culture and I don’t know that any of us know what the end
result of it is going to be. But I saw it happen
in my own family. I have two stepsons and
a young daughter. My stepsons range in age
from 32 to 27 to– our daughter is 16. And just in the course of that
lifetime, I have seen with the 32-year-old, very verbal,
being on the phone with friends, talking, face-to-face
talking. The 27-year-old through high
school, telephone– no, telephone’s gone. AOL chat rooms, getting into
a chat room together with a bunch of friends with everybody
there and just chatting while typing to now– with my daughter, it’s almost
completely text relationships, texting relationships. Very little, much less
face-to-face absolutely no phone time– all texting. I’m not saying anything is good
or bad, but I’ve seen this happen culturally
in my own family. And I wonder what that means,
because I think there’s a fundamental change happening
in the way human beings are going to be interacting. I make no assumptions over
what’s good or bad, but I know it’s happening. I think we have to figure out
what it means for the future. You have to edit that
part out, because my daughter can’t see that. I think that theaters are slow
to evolve as organizations. Artists are not slow
to evolve. Any individual production
can change on a dime. But organizations
and theater is– the regional theater movement
in the country has become about organizations. Organizations evolve
more slowly. And I would say for the last– in the last decade, I’ve run
two different theaters, and I’ve seen it in both
institutions. The grasping at straws to figure
out how to use the new technologies that exist in order
to better engage and interact with the audience. So yeah, do we have
a YouTube channel. Yes. Do we try to do video teasers
and interviews with actors and put them there on our website? Yes. Do we gather email addresses and
create email newsletters with video content? Yes. Do we have a Twitter feed? Yes. Do we tell people what the
hashtag is for our shows so they can engage in
conversation? Yes. Do we have a Facebook fan page? Sure. Do we try to post there so
that people will see interesting comments and content
they want to comment. Yeah. But is there any great expertise
at the nonprofit level compared to what else is
happening in other parts of the Valley? Probably not. Nonprofit arts organization
by their nature are under resource, underfunded. And in a traditional theater
marketing, which was about buying an ad in the newspaper
and waiting for a review, all of those things clearly are
things of the past. But a huge chunk of the audience
still gets their information that way, while
there’s this other part of the audience that wants to engage in
an entirely different way. And we learned in fits and
starts about how to do it. I am desperately wanting to find
ways to use all of those technologies to create a much
deeper artistic experience for the audience that’s going
to see something. We try to find ways that the
pre-show show experience and the post-show experience through
technology can enrich the whole thing. So it’s constantly about
experimentation and exploration and then seeing what
actually works for the theater audience, which remains
a challenge, I think. The sad thing remains that
live theater is very resource-intensive. It’s extremely expensive,
because there’s a lot of human capital involved. Actors, designers, directors,
stage managers, stage crew, blah blah blah. It’s a lot of people involved. It’s incredibly expensive. And our nonprofit theaters
unfortunately are not as philanthropically supported by
the community as much as I would like to see
them support it. So it puts those of us who run
these theaters in the rather unhappy position of having
ticket prices that I believe create a barrier to some people
in our community. And I’m very unhappy
about that. So we do things to try
to mitigate that. For example, the first preview
of each of our shows, we now do what we call
pay-what-you-will performance, where if you want to pay $5 or
$10 , you can get into see the play at that performance. No reserved seating. And usually we’ll get 300 people
or so who will avail themselves of that. And they’re usually older, on
fixed incomes, younger college students or just-out-of-college
students maybe still trying to get a job
or they have their first start-up job. And some people have never been
to the theater before, who are just people who look
for cheap entertainment or cultural options. So that’s one way that we could
lower that barrier. So theater in America
has become– I hate to say this– but I think that the problem is
that it can be perceived as being for the elite. but I don’t think it
should be at all. I think theater is the
most populist art form that there is. It’s not like going
to the symphony. It doesn’t have to be stuffy. It’s not a stuffy experience. Theater should be a rowdy
populist experience, Very often, that’s driven
by the programming. When we did “Spring Awakening”
last year, I saw many more young people. I saw a much broader spectrum
of the community was there for that. Some of the more standard or
traditional plays that we might do or just even modern
plays that folks don’t know, it tends to skew older
certainly. And it tends to skew
more affluent. And that’s a huge challenge. Because I don’t want to
be running a cultural organization that’s just
for a certain class or demographic of people. Because they have their own
value system I don’t want to run a theater that that’s just
dominated by one particular value system in the audience. The theater audience should
reflect the community that we live in. So that’s something where we
have to constantly work on. And to keep ticket
prices low enough so that that’s possible. The first is that there is a
segment of our audience– I don’t actually believe that
they drive the artistic decisions that I make. But certainly there’s a segment
of the audience that likes big sets and likes
a lot of costumes. They like that. They like that. But that frankly doesn’t drive
artistic decisions. The artists do. And as the Artistic Director,
I pick the plays, I pick the artists, and I curate
the season. But I don’t tell all the
artists, this is exactly the way I want to do your shows. If I’m directing a play,
that’s different. But if I have a guest
director– so I want to give the directors
and the designers the resources that they believe
they need to tell that story in the most
powerful matter. Sometimes those directors and
designers will say you know, to tell this story in the most
powerful manner, I think we need no scenery. They rarely say that. More often than not, they’ll
come to me and they say this is what we want to
tell the story. And just like enormous moving
scenery and millions of costumes and then I have to
say whoa, whoa, whoa. Because we don’t even have
that kind of budget. So we have to figure out
a way to cut that down. So there could be an economic
tension with those kind of artistic decisions. But I believe that my job is
to try to provide as many resources as I can say to those
artists to do the work in the way that they feel I
really do need this to most effectively tell the stories
to the audience. And sometimes it takes stuff. Great. Thanks. AUDIENCE: [APPLAUSE]


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