Editorial #04

MANAGING SELF AND SURROUNDINGS

In the month that opens the year 2006, LeBur returns to appear in front of respected readers with several changes. More than just make-up to fulfill its vanity, the recent changes reflect outcomes of an evaluation conducted by the editorial team on the performance of the first three explorative-issues published. One matter remains certain: LeBur continues to strive to become a media assemblage and seedbed for theatrical ideas and other performance forms, specifically in Indonesia. So with all that said, we feel a need to conduct several improvements.

First, we feel the need to clarify the nature of LeBur’s mediation by adding to the heading: Theater, Art, Performance. Hopefully this will illuminate LeBur as an assemblage of ideas for different art forms or performance, whether given the label ‘art’ or not. Second, beginning with this issue, LeBur will make serious efforts to present articles that will be more thematic to each issue; even though a smaller space continues to be allocated for non-thematic articles in order to accommodate ‘real’ issues of the moment. Third, we agreed to change the publishing timetable to produce two editions per year. One of the reasons is due to the difficulty in obtaining writers on the subject of theater and related forms. Again, we invite the readers to take benefit from this particular mediation by sending articles on the subject of performance, whether in theater or other similar forms.

****
In line with the process of improving LeBur, we decided to release articles regarding the management practices of activities/organizations/arts initiatives in this number. Of course the articles and interviews should not be read as the full story of management practices of any group. They represent nothing but the writing itself – meaning, generalizations are not assumed. The commitment is: sharing experiences. We are certain that sharing of stories and experiences – if accompanied by the willingness to listen – will continue to have purpose.

Taken together, these five articles and interviews regarding management seem to have some correlations. This editorial is about to reveal only a few of them. These articles clearly insist that the dilemma of management is not only fixed on numbers, capital, with measurements in efficiency. But it is also clear that the creative world of theater does not live on notions and mere ideas. It is about the realization and the presentation of ideas, whether in material or in activity. Most theater practitioners already know this. Yet, if theater practitioners do not wish to understand figures (finance), this will also be problematic. Perhaps there is a need to elaborate the notion of theater as a non-profit activity. Calculating efficiency needs to be balanced with a level of effectiveness, and each of the two measurements can not be disregarded just like that.

In addition, it is clear that the theater world is not only inhabited by theater practitioners alone, but also by other members of the greater community as well as public and private organizations. In other words, the theater lives on the same planet with the pursuits of other communities. So to manage theater globally also means to manage peripheral fundamentals. The theater also needs management practices that can involve vast communities rather than just theater practitioners themselves. Some types of arts activities are managed in the model of a community organization rather than a profit-oriented organization. How is it possible to manage two different types of organizations? Let’s observe the course taken by two very different organizations such as Tutup Ngisor and Teater Koma, which may provide inspiration.

****
This edition also presents discourse regarding the identity of Indonesian theater, written by Michael Boden; an article by Ugoran Prasad about “I la Galigo” performed in Jakarta at the end of last year; and a review by Gunawan Maryanto on the realism style carried out by Teater Gardanalla in their production “Jalur 17”. These articles expose interesting perspectives about theater practices in Indonesia.

****