BEHIND THE SCENES
MARK DONALD IS to be commended for his fine article on the recent political scratchings and clawings at the Dallas Theater Center [“Drama in Real Life,” January]. As a former public relations director of the Dallas Symphony who worked with Al Mil-ano when he was managing director of that organization, I read this well-written account with great interest.
What a pity Dallas lost Milano. During his days at the DSO, he was an island of sanity in a bizarre environment that seemed to be inspired by loony tunes more often than symphonies and sonatas. He was one of those rare individuals who can function with equal ease in both the business and artistic communities.
He was also one of the few arts biggies I ever met who didn’t subscribe to the old adage: “If it ain’t losin’ money, it ain’t art.” Anyone curious about the current state of arts in Dallas should remember that this is the city that traded Al Milano for Adrian Hall. When it comes to executive decisions, the board of directors of the Dallas Theater Center is the only group in town that makes Eddie Chiles and the Texas Rangers look good.
Bailey Hankins & Associates
THE RECENT article about the Dallas Theater Center was accurate in most respects. There was one error. The theater lost 6,000 season subscribers following Adrian Hall’s first season, not 2,000 as reported. This was half the total number of subscribers.
It was recently reported that a season ticket brochure that was mailed to thousands of prospects after I left netted a disastrous 75 new buyers. Is Dallas giving the theater a message?
The real question in all this regards the supposed “trustees.” Not unlike others I observed in my seven years in Dallas, they seem more anxious to deny their past than to keep a close eye and ear on the future.
The Cleveland Play House
IT WAS APPARENT to me that Mark Donald, in writing about the drama behind the drama at DTC, succumbed to the pressure that plagues all writers: pandering to the bloodthirsty interests of readers in order to sell magazines.
Power struggles are nothing new; they are as old as the theater itself. Any idiot can see that 23 years of accomplishments at the DTC under Paul Baker is not only a remarkable achievement but something of a miracle in the theater world, where boards are constantly at loggerheads with artistic directors. It’s my opinion that great theater can only be seen when we abolish boards altogether.
I can only say thank God that Paul Baker was a worthy adversary. Otherwise, Dallas may not have had such a respected and honorable past. And Adrian Hall needs all the skills he employed in successfully diverting his own firing from the Rhode Island board to last through DTC’s board. Everything is bigger and meaner in Texas.
THUMBS UP TOTHUMBS DOWN
CONGRATULATIONS TO D Magazine for its “Thumbs Down” assessment of the Lancaster City Council [“Inside Dallas,” January] for bowing to pressure from misinformed neighborhood groups that perceive persons with mental retardation as “endangering” their property values.
Studies of real estate sales and purchases in various parts of the country have proven this to be false. The presence of a group home has no effect on the market. A word of praise for Philip Mercer, the only member of the City Council who correctly said that they are “simply citizens” trying to grow.
Association for Retarded Citizens