A year in review
Here's a quick re-cap of all the fun stuff that happened last year! I started by directing for the 24 Hour Xtream Theatre Smackdown with Theatre Unbound, then quickly moved on to directing a piece for The Naked I: Self Defined with 20% Theatre Company (now on tour!). I left my position with Gadfly Theatre Productions. I worked with students at Ramsey Middle School, taught three wonderful classes with Lyric Arts of Anoka, and subbed in for teachers at Stages Theatre Company. I managed the house and box office for Mixed Blood and Walking Shadow. I assisted the playwright Kira Obolensky and some artists from Ten Thousand Things on a new project that's set to open one year from now. I assistant directed and stage managed The Sleeping Beauty In The Wood for Collective Unconscious Performance. In my non-theatre life, I added Minneapolis Public Schools to my subbing roster and cooked a lot of tasty food!
As many of you know, I applied to grad school! I am looking at Ph.D. programs in theatre history and performance studies. The programs are highly competitive, so I'm trying not to get get my hopes up too high. I sent in applications to Stanford, the University of California Santa Barbara, Northwestern, The University of Minnesota, Cornell, and The University of Pittsburgh. Because of my uncertain future, I don't have too many projects lined up for the year. (But if you're looking for a director this fall, call me in March!)
Currently, I'm stage managing Romeo and Juliet for Shakespearean Youth Theatre. I'm working with some of the smartest, most dedicated, and delightful teens you'll ever meet. There are also some fabulous artists on the production end of this show who are a joy to collaborate with! As soon as that closes, I will start a couple classes for little ones at Lyric Arts of Anoka based on Roald Dahl's stories and Shel Silverstein's poetry. And a few weeks into that, I begin assistant directing Theatre Pro Rata's production of Up: The Man in the Flying Chair with Carin Bratlie Wethern. The show will open at the end of May at Park Square and ticket info can be found here. Beyond all of that, I'm looking forward to a year of teaching, new recipes, and *hopefully* watching the Packers in the Super Bowl!
I've spent a lot of time since November thinking about the purpose of creating art. Regardless of your politics, I think we can all agree that we are living in unusual times. Or, at the very least, uncertain times. Why do people create art when everything else can seem so important? Isn't it pretty self indulgent to make a play? I have been trying to remind myself of a quote by one of my favorite directors, Anne Bogart: "Artists are individuals willing to articulate in the face of flux and transformation." Those words have been attached to my email signature for several years, but they seem to carry more weight this week, on the cusp of the inauguration.
I think it is essential that we keep creating. Theatre has always been a way to make sense of our world, question our world, and find ourselves in strange worlds. Creating art has always been a political act. Actors were left for dead in ditches. Directors were exiled. Theatres were heavily regulated and even closed for being too provocative, too exploratory, too truthful. The act of creating is inherently radical and therefore, a necessary part of constructing the narrative future generations will use to understand their world. My work may not be important ten years from now or even tomorrow, but there is strength in numbers. The more of us that dare to create, the more history we can write. We must continue to articulate what we can in the face of change.