Bell Shakespeare launched its 2009 season on a Thursday. On the Friday I was walking in an inner west “village” shopping strip and saw a copy the brochure in the street-side garbage bin. The shortest life cycle for a season brochure I’ve ever directly witnessed.
I’m sure there was some perfectly innocuous reason for its being disposed of and one could speculate about that forever. I’m going with “fell from owner’s bag, subsequently tossed in bin by some uninterested but environmentally conscious passer-by”.
Meanwhile, it made me think, soberly, of all the angst and effort that’s invested in a season brochure: the years of careful and imaginative artistic planning; the creative work of writing and designing the publication itself; striving to accurately and enticingly convey artistic vision as well as the personality of the performances and the character of the experience. It can take months. People lose sleep and weight over these things. There are tears and heated discussions – and joy too.
When it’s all over, these brochures stay on desks and shelves for 16-plus months – a continual source of reference, a reminder of what we’re all here for. Our fans, our subscribers, often collect them season by season, even referring to back issues (I’m not making this up!).
And sometimes they end up in the bin.