The leader of our most influential theater came to our house last night and we are all still rockin'. Oskar Eustis was everything I would want him to be, and more: intelligent (more than intelligent), energetic, committed, gracious, inspirational, insane, generous, down to earth and completely real. Passionate but not tightly wound. Exemplary. You feel that the future of American theater is in good hands. What other great institution in our country is run by an actual living breathing socialist? A guy who thinks tickets to the best theater in America should be free? Huh? A guy who actually thinks these tickets will one day actually be free? Out of his mind. Fabulous. Oskar is a true believer--- he deeply believes in theatre and its unique power to create and stimulate community dialogue. He thinks the theatre should be, must be at the heart of civic life. Like I said, he's out of his mind. He wants to knock down every single obstacle that stands between real theatre--theatre which engages hearts and minds--and people--all the people. He had words for regional theaters too-- he thinks they are becoming far too homogenized. In this of course theater is not exceptional. Most American regions are becoming homogonized---you can drive past miles of identical Appleby's, Seven-Elevens, Chipolotes, Jack in the Boxes, Wall Marts, etc in just about every town in America. Why should theater be different? It ISN'T different, and that's the problem. Oskar (I call him Oskar) reminded us that every great contribution to American theater had come from something very specific outside the mainstream. Which means regional theaters have an obligation--- if they really want to contribute-- to honor their regional roots, to dig deeply into them. What this means for THEATREWORKS we must still learn-- what is our regional character? Do we even have one? But we are happy to be thus prodded. Thanks to Oskar for bringing it with him when he came (I suspect he always brings it). Thanks, as Nikola Tesla might say, for getting us to oscillate at higher frequencies! And thanks to Kevin Landis and the UCCS Department of Visual and Performing Arts for or making this pulsating visit possible!