Is Theater Important?

Where You and I Become Us

This was one of several responses to the question "Is Theater Important?" published by The New York Times on Sunday, February 23, 2003.

The Red Meat Club meets approximately every quarter. For the last twenty years, Carole Rothman, the artistic director of the Second Stage Theater, Heidi Ettinger, The Tony Award-winning set designer, and I have released our inner carnivores at steak joints, where we devour man-size slabs of beef, washed down with tumblers of Chianti.

But the real purpose of our gathering is not to compete with the eating habits of Fred Flintstone. We meet informally to assess our parallel lives in the theater. Two weeks ago, however, the tone was different. Even before we ordered, Carole, who has the calm and chipper demeanor of a veteran producer, leaned in seriously:

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