A theater artist calls for a revolution in how theater is made and financed
Good piece, Noah!
Inherent support for the arts might be one of the advantages of a universal basic income system. My hypothesis is that those people who want to be artists will be able to maintain a (perhaps low) living standard while they do their thing. The savings in salary can be passed on in lower ticket prices, which now have to cover only the venue, sets, etc. (Those artists who are popular enough could, of course, charge more, allowing them to earn additional income.)
We already see this to some degree in what people do with their free time. There's a thriving community of video game developers, for example, creating free games. (These are mostly small ones, often on older platforms, of a size manageable by a single developer.) There are plenty of other people and organisations providing economic value "for free" as well. This has been seen a lot in the last few decades in the open source software community, to the point where a substantial amount of Internet infrastructure runs on open source.
Why do all these regional theaters need $100 million dollar venues and million-dollar artistic directors? It’s crazy, there’s gotta be a way to get that money into the hands of the artists/workers. Maybe further unionization is the answer? Or more aggressive collective bargaining by the artist unions that already exist?