I was reading this highly fascinating article from Popular Science about how Apple will fare after the sudden resignation of CEO Steve Jobs. They think the company will do just fine because they’ll still be lead by Jobs’ minimalist philosophy. That started me thinking about how this could apply to theatre. Companies across the spectrum have used Apple for a model.
The writer suggests Jobs’ success was because he makes innovative, simple, user-intuitive products. He doesn’t add superfluous flourishes. But he also keeps his stuff sexy. It struck me that this is somewhat close to OSTP’s mission: to make engaging theatre accessible to everyone.
Of course, there are some major ideological differences. Jobs was after profit (Apple is a business, after all). OSTP relies on donors–we don’t charge for our “product.” It’s not a super stable business model (but also not an idiotic one, I would like to think). We focus on the free exchange of ideas, past and present. Apple isn’t really about a “message”–they might have one, but their main focus is making devices (and, therefore, making money).
But I think the overarching themes are similar. Both Apple and OSTP want to make something simple, smart, and easy-to-use/understand. Apple isn’t all about hipness, it’s about minimalism. Which I think is also a smart route for theatre to take in these hard economic times, when national arts budgets are being slashed and burned.
Let us know what you think.