The Shows Have to Go On


I mentioned yesterday that I spent some time over the weekend looking for a script I had written. I found it, but it was not what I wanted.

Then Monday night, we had our theater board meeting and talked about our path forward.

Long story short, we left our space of 57 years because it no longer made sense to spend our entire bank account paying for a space we could not use.

We’re coming back. How and when remains to be seen.

But we’re coming back.

No, right now I can’t tell you the how or when of it.

But we’re coming back.

This is the first Winter/Spring changeover when I have not been in a production, either acting or directing since 2011.

That’s ten years for those of you in the back.

As someone who has a tendency to overbook and go from show to show, I miss it.

Sure, initially at the end of a run you think that a break would be nice.

Twelve days maybe. Twelve weeks even.

Twelve months? Way too long.

Theater is slowly beginning to return with limited runs, streaming projects, performers in various forms of facial masking.

Theater artists know how to adapt.

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Whether a piece of scenery falls apart, a prop goes missing, or a fellow actor forgets a line, theater artists are known for their ability to adapt to the situation.

Theatre has been closed before. It may be closed again.

The Globe Theater of Shakespeare fame was closed more than once because of the Bubonic Plague, at least once because of fire, and apparently at one point because of the Puritans.

So, our American theaters, from Broadway to community, as well as theaters around the world, will return.

We just may look a little different.

The thing is that we need to return sooner rather than later.

I mean, just look at the headlines, if you dare. It’s hard to find a good one.

Theater provides distraction, it provides entertainment. It allows us to see humanity as it should or shouldn’t be. It inspires us to be better people.

I studied theater in college but decided not to pursue it after. So I set it aside for almost twenty years until my wife and I found a church that does some amazing theatrical productions. About ten years ago, I branched out into the greater Richmond theater community.

My college-age decision was a classic case of “had I known then.”

But, I don’t believe in coincidence. I think I needed those twenty or so years to have some life experiences, to build the family.

Either that or to accumulate enough debt so that I couldn’t do theater full time.

I digress.

Just as with writing, I came to, or came back to theater later. Long-term readers (both of you) may recall that I was in my early 50s when I changed from saying “I want to be a writer” to “I am a writer.”

I will admit that in recent weeks, with the lockdown and my current health diagnosis, I have had serious internal conversations regarding my level of involvement in theater.

Thanks to the previously mentioned insomnia, I’ve had plenty of time for those chats.

While I may still be sorting some of that out, what I know for certain is that I can’t wait for theater to come back.

When it does, I’ll be there in some form, whether producer, director, or patron.

That’s where you come in. When theater comes back, be there.

Buy the tickets. Send the donations. Spread the word.

The shows will go on.




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Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

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