Theatrical Activism

Why am I doing this?

I'll be honest, friends, I do ask myself that question.  Some weeks it's rarely, some weeks it's often.  And, trust me, it's really important for me to be able to answer that question.

For a long time, I thought it was all about seeing this piece of art that I created come to life onstage.  I poured my heart into it and I wanted to see it fully executed.

But that isn't the answer.

The reason why I'm doing this, is because I have to.  If I don't, who will?  I don't know any other musical theatre writers who would torture themselves this way.

But, someone has to do it. 

Because something is wrong with the way the system operates and the way art is created.  And it continues to get worse as the years go on.  And if we don't stand up to the "in"dustry and propose another model, it's just going to continue to get more and more difficult for new voices to be heard and for anyone who doesn't have a trust fund to create a piece of theatre.

And that worries me.  It bothers me.  It angers me.  And it fuels me.

And I truly believe that even though our entire budget is equivalent to one flying harness and rig used in Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, it's not going to stop us from moving and entertaining the 1,100 people who will be seeing Helen on 86th St. this spring. 

So, I guess I'm a theatrical activist.  I may not be able to change the way this industry operates over night, but if I can just chip away at it a little bit...if I can influence change by showing people that there are other options out there--that you don't have to sit around and wait for someone to "discover" your show, then I have achieved something great.

I don't anticipate it's going to get any easier, but at least if I know what I'm fighting for, I can lead my team with the confidence and the stamina needed to make it to May 8th.