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  • Writer's pictureSofia Lindgren Galloway

Forced Sabbatical

At the end of March, David Hanzal and I had to make the difficult decision to cancel Collective Unconscious' Performance of Maiden Voyage.

In mid-March, David and I were putting the final touches on props and puppet, confirming performance space details, sharing costume pieces with Libby, and gearing up for the first day of rehearsals, March 23. Then, a global pandemic brought everyone's lives to a screeching halt.

The most important thing to know is that David and I worked with our funders, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, to make sure that whatever we did would be the most beneficial decision for the art and the artists. We hoped to postpone the play but, the grant report was due June 30, 2020, and there was simply no wiggle room. Thankfully, MRAC allowed us to use our grant funds to pay all of our artists, so that at the very least we could financially support our community during this strange time. While I'm devastated that the show will not happen in the near future, I'm so glad we could still honor the financial aspects of our contracts. Not every theater or artist has been so lucky. We also agreed that, if we can all safely gather together this fall, we will do a reading of the show so that Rachel's words have a chance to live out-loud, in front of an audience. In the meantime, you can read the script on New Play Exchange.

I had been talking about taking a break. The last year has been a lot of hard work, late nights, missed social events, and more artistic growth than I was ready for. I just thought I would have one more show to do before my break began. But I've decided to called this forced moment of slowness my "sabbatical."

I must say, I'm thankful for this break. I am still employed at the museum but I'm working from home. I have absolutely no commitments outside my work day and when you eliminate my brief commute and distractions from co-workers, I end up with more free time in my day than I've ever had in my entire life. So, I'm taking this chance to reflect, tie up loose ends, read, cook, reconnect with friends and family, exercise, and sleep. I completely redesigned my website. I decided I wanted to start acting again. I am rediscovering my love of reading through fiction and memoirs. I MariKondo'd every room in my apartment. But what I'm not doing, is making any art. I'm still working: creating this website, reading scripts, rediscovering notes from old acting classes and searching for audition materials, and journaling about possible future projects. I think it is important, though, that we all enjoy this collective rest. I want to take some time to miss theatre. I want to recharge my batteries so that when can can all gather together again and share a story, maybe I'll have that magical feeling of seeing theatre for the first time and falling in love all over again. Until then, I hope you (dear reader, whomever you are) stay safe and healthy. And I hope you have the space and time to miss something and fall in love with it all over again.


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