Yo. I am still pinching myself and digesting about 25+ hours of theatricality. Professionals Week was a dream!
Before I reflect, I have to say, I am honored to be in community with TEN smart, witty, honest, giving, accessible, perceptive fellows! There is great power in collective positivity.
We were informed that we would be filmed by WNET, documenting the Directors Project and marking Drama Leagues Centennial (woot woot)! On day one when we all settled in a circle in the Drama League studio, there was such an emotional potency in the room. We knew we would be filmed soon, and you could just feel how scared shitless but READY we all were. Aside from the cameras, we knew this was most likely the moment for our introductory “spiels”. We were told to “be natural” as the film crew adjusted the sound but we all embodied equally giddy, anxious, “omg, what the f*ck” as we filled the silence with juvenile laughter and chatter. Little did we know, lunch with Gabriel was the real “spiel”. On our second day together, Gabriel, Travis, and Judith Light ushered us into unpacking our directorial strengths and challenges. Our conversation was an honest discussion of personal politics and humanity. Judith beautifully urged us to return to “being”; to remember why we chose storytelling and honor how blessed we are to do this work. As we went around and shared our day two “spiels” it was comforting to hear that many of us sense our global need for each other...our need to look another in the eye and dialogue. I was thrilled in riffing with my colleagues about my goals to create engaging, accessible theatre spaces.
It was a real gift to bounce around the city with ten directors and speak candidly with theatre professionals. Our discussions helped me identify new areas of focus as I create work and build relationships. Also, what better way to nerd-out than seeing 7 plays and gossiping about “what worked” (#ontheDL) afterward. Really... who needs a night club.
The recurring topic in our Professionals Week discussions was the importance of fostering relationships in the arts community. I will never forget the tender-loving-care I felt in my first week in the Drama League family. From legends passing the torch at the Drama League Awards to Gabriel sharing his birthday pouring into us, I am forever grateful for my new home base.
Before we reconvene at the Fall Fellows retreat in August, I am traveling to TANZANIA to work with Dramatic Adventure Theatre in FIVE days! I hope to check in with you all from The Continent to share my theatre making- teaching adventures!
*The moment we realized our bios were in the DL awards program!