My message to the 2020 Graduated Seniors getting into the Theater.
You had one dream.
You wanted to be in a show. Or direct a show. Or write a show.
What did you get instead?
A @#$% show.
I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be you right now. Look, we’ve all got our own drama to deal with because of the pandemic, but it pains me to think of how it’s affecting you.
Because I remember how excited I was to get to it. To audition. To do readings. To drink black coffee at the Westway diner until 3 AM spitballing new show ideas with friends.
And now, I have a feeling that the optimism you should have right now . . . the optimism you had in February when you were counting down the days until you were a Pro . . . has faded.
I get it. I do.
I’m sure you still get yourself pumped up about a Zoom reading, or a self-tape, or a theater that’s opening in Germany. But then, a quick check of CNN sends you into a “Will we ever get back to normal?” spiral.
Well, I’m here to tell you that . . . no, we will not get back to normal.
And that should get you more excited than the idea of winning your first Tony.
Why? Why is THIS the most exciting time to be a graduating senior from a college theater program? Or a high school kid going into a college theater program? Or any kind of TheaterMaker at any age looking to make a career in the theater?
The theater is one of the oldest art forms on the planet. It’s filled with glorious traditions, techniques . . . and a whole lot of archaic rules.
Especially on Broadway.
And now . . those rules are being rewritten all over the world.
And you’re going to be the generation that gets to rewrite them.
I’ve said before that it would take a “dark period” like we had in the 80s to loosen up its artistic and economic restrictions.
And, well, we got it. (I never imagined ALL of our theaters would be empty!)
So what makes theater theater? Does theater have to happen in a theater? What can we do about the price of tickets? Or the price of putting on a show?
These are all questions that you can help answer . . . when any other time the industry would ignore you.
But not now.
It’s going to be a painful few months. Maybe even more. But hold tight. Stay strong. Because we will return.
And get together with friends . . . just not at the Westway diner just yet. Come up with answers to these questions and questions we haven’t even asked yet.
Because you are the future of the theater.
Do that and the theater will not only return, but it’ll come back stronger than before.
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If you are a student or know one, we’ve got a scholarship just for you, see here. If you’re NOT a student, but just a passionate TheaterMaker, we also have one for you too.