Max Sparber considers what gets left out of the Iveys in an article on mnartists.org, specifically new work by small companies. While paying all due respect to the purpose and pomp of the Iveys, Max makes a point I've heard made in many a theater lobby and post-show party.

The absence of small companies, new works, and - not mentioned by Max, but a grumble I've heard elsewhere - Minnesota companies outside the Twin Cities is observed and lamented by artists, but to my knowledge, not by audiences. Is this because without award recognition, audiences aren't even aware of their existence, much less their exclusion from the festivities?

As the program director for the Minnesota Theater Alliance, an inclusive organization serving all theaters of all kinds all across the state, I wonder if more can and should be done to recognize the rest of of a theater scene distinguished as much by its diversity as its quality. I also wonder what the impact of an awards ceremony is, and what it could be for the health of our industry.

Dear readers, it's your community. What do you think? Post a comment or drop me a line, and let me know what we can do to celebrate artistic excellence in a meaningful, inclusive, and effective way. The Iveys have become a big part of our cultural community; what can be done to leverage the event's contribution to our work?