For the team that worked feverishly on-stage and behind-the-scenes at Sing After Storms, I will be forever grateful, forever standing on my feet and giving you a standing ovation of wild applause for your courage and commitment to create. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
We didn’t win the Thespis Theater Festival in the traditional sense.* We were one of 6 finalists nominated for best play out of 39 plays presented, and we didn’t walk away with any prize money. To me, we won in every sense that matters: getting down a painful, powerful, and thought-provoking story to free it in the hopes that it helps to free others.
Theater is hard, so damn hard. It’s more difficult to create than many other art forms because we must build it together. That togetherness must then be orchestrated and tuned with a light, but steady and confident hand. It’s about giving boundaries—the story lines, the confines of the physical space, time—and then just letting people play within those boundaries. It’s a heavy burden and a limitless gift. We put our story out there into the world for judgement and critique, and then allow others to change it, color it, and give it its own life separate and apart from the life the playwright infused into it.
It hurts to let a story go out into the world to fend for itself, and yet in that letting go it saves, serves, and heals. Perhaps that’s the greatest gift that this show has given me—the chance to be free and whole all at once, and the chance to find and sing my song.
*Comparing large-scale musicals to intimate relationship-based dramas, and films of staged shows to live performances, seems a bit odd to me. It also seems unfair to expect a show that was staged two and a half months ago to pull a cast and crew back together with 5 days notice over a holiday weekend to give a performance to be judged against shows that closed much more recently. However, I’m willing to put that aside now that I’ve written it down and expressed my opinion so I can feel nothing but pride for our team. Thanks for allowing me to digress for a moment.