Professionals Week

June 1, 2017 / The Adventure | Michael Alvarez


I am so grateful for the opportunity to have shared the 2017 Drama League Professionals Week with such a unique, and remarkable, group of directors. There is a reason this past week was once referred to as wonder week – it was the perfect cocktail of astonishment, admiration, awe and uncertainty. For me, this week was a lot of introspection as I engaged with the ‘business’ of theatre-making. Who am I in relation to this industry, what do I have to offer it and what does it have to offer me?


In such an industry one has to be malleable enough to work within institutional settings and with various personalities and processes; yet, be steadfast enough in one’s own core values as an artist to keep true to ones authentic voice and impulses. Where in this is the balance and how do we reach it?  A big question I kept pondering was: what is the relationship between the art and cultural responsibility of making theatre; and the business of it? I believe as theater makers we are vested with the responsibility of creating culture and to that end – how is the work we produce reflective of this? I don’t pretend to have answers – I know these are impossible questions that can be met with a multiplicity of answers based on preference and point of view. However, the journey of trying to find answers has opened up a new set of questions of myself; and a constant defining and redefining of self – both personal and artistic.  As I write this I've discovered I've thought a lot about the dichotomy between art and commerce when instead I should be exploring its dialectic. The conversation between the two – in relation to what is happening culturally and politically within the world – is where the juicy stuff lives. How do we evolve the art, grow the commerce and impact society? This is our challenge.The beauty is that the future is not singular - it is multifaceted. I am excited to see how this experience, coupled with what is to come at the Hangar,  will shape my own personal relationship to these challenges.


For now, it’s time to buckle down on the adventure of being a Hangar Fellow! Until them, be sure to check out the work of the Hangar and the super-cool work us Fellows will be doing at the Wedge!



Michael Alvarez

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P.S - Here is a pic from our first day at the Hangar!  (L to R: Tom Costello, Jillian Carucci, Gabriel Vega Weissman, Me)