Theatre Ideas' Scott Walters has written a great piece about theatre, the audience, and trust, and how new plays might best be fostered in theatres with resident companies and resident playwrights (and more), rather than in the mode in which many LORT theatres currently operate.
Check it out.
One of my favorite theaters is the one from my home town in Saranac Lake, New York, the Pendragon Theatre. This notion of an extended relationship with the audience, who are interested in seeing actors stretch into roles, was very much a part of what helped them succeed. (And they're a talented bunch.)