Those in the art world may agree that performing arts in the U.S. are entering a new era, and are facing many challenges, such as shrinking audiences, a cut in revenues and change in their audience's expectations.
However, this is also a time when there are more performing arts companies than ever before.
Susan Claassen, managing artistic director at Invisible Theatre, Michael Martinez, executive director at Live Theatre Workshop, and Nanette Robinson, co-founder and artistic director at ZUZI! Dance Company, School and Theater all agreed that one of the main life supports of the performing arts in this strange times is constant community engagement.
Claassen referred to it as an invisible force, or energy, between the artists and the audience.
Martinez said that it is not just about the performances anymore, but about building a relationship with those who cross the doors of their theaters.
"It is important to engage community because without it, we wouldn't exist," Claassen said.