I just sent the below message to the cast and crew at Gulf Coast State College Theatre and I wanted to share it with you.
Dear cast and crew
l hope this finds you safe. I know many of you won’t have the ability to read this for some time thanks to our new friend Mike and former friend Verizon, but I also know many of you have been thinking and wondering about the show. I also know that many of you still have much more urgent matters to deal with and please know your safety and basic needs are top priority, but I also wanted you to know that THE SHOW WILL GO ON
Maybe not with the full original cast/crew
Maybe not in the same venue
Maybe not with the same title
Maybe not in the same format
Maybe not with all the same words
ART has the ability to give expression to the things in life that are the most complex.
The most simple.
The most true.
The most contradictory.
My fav director, Anne Bogart says for her theatre begins when there is a contraction between what we are seeing and what we are hearing.
For me, I want theatre to make me feel something. Make me learn something. Challenge me. Move me. Those things have been all too real this week. One of the reasons we tell stories is to remember. Theatre is storytelling.
I think we have a tremendous opportunity here to help our community. A special kind of help that does not include chainsaws and relief trucks, though I am surprised how many theatre skills come in handy as part of disaster recovery. More on that later….
We have a different kind of work to do.
We can tell our story.
The story of our community.
So, what should you be doing now while we are literally scattered to the wind?
First, take care of yourselves and your families. If you need help, dont be afraid to ask. If you can help, don’t be afraid to help.
Your other job is to see.
Be with people.
Share with them.
Talk to them.
LISTEN to them.
Scavenge for hope.
Be a vessel for love.
Glean what you can from this interruption to your routine. Write. Sing. Draw. Photo. Dance. Journal.
If you are like me you have seen and done things in the last week that people would not believe if we put it on stage or screen.
Record those images and feelings.
Bottle the fear.
Embrace the kindness.
Express the pain.
Release the tears. All the different kinds.
Our show was scheduled to be fine.
Reports now suggest a new show is just offshore gathering tremendous power and fuel.
The only thing stronger than Michael is the power of what is to come. I can see it. I can feel it.
Hope to see you soon.