Monday, February 7
I think it’s human nature to want to connect.
Wait. No. That’s wrong.
I think it’s human nature to NEED to connect.
We spend our lives searching for people who get us, accept us, embrace us, understand us. People we trust inherently.
And when we find those people, we don’t let them go because for many of us, it’s taken so damn long to find them.
But, what if that desperate searching leads you nowhere? What if you feel like there’s no one to turn to? Then what do you do?
Paul, our gay Mid-Western teenage protagonist in WHEN LAST WE FLEW, turns to theater- in particular to ANGELS IN AMERICA as his immediate connection. He gets lost in the words, in the world. He imagines himself in the play and finds that it’s his only opportunity to live his life the way he wants to live it: “honestly and transparently. “
I think many of us who work in the theater, be it actor, writer, director, producer, designer, etc. see ourselves or have seen ourselves as an outsider at some point in our lives. It’s probably why we’ve chosen a career where we live part of our lives in a world of make believe. We are in control of the outcome. We spin stories in hopes of learning something about ourselves and if we do our job right, help our audience learn something about themselves as well.
When I first read WHEN LAST WE FLEW, I immediately took to it. How could I not? Growing up in a small suburb in New Jersey, I was instantly pegged as an outsider, an other, and I found myself very much so turning to theater like Paul. I think at that age it was important to see and hear stories and get points of views that were diverse and more progressive than the voices I grew up around. It was vital to know that there was an entire world outside of the confines of the town where I could live “honestly and transparently.”
And as we get older and begin to find those people we were so desperately looking for as we were growing up, that need or desire to turn to theater doesn’t ever go away completely. The questions or needs change, of course- be it the pains of growing older or the confusion or being in love or frustration with the world, you name it.
At the end of the day, WHEN LAST WE FLEW is just a play. Some words written on paper by a playwright I happen to think is unique and special, and one I’m lucky to have in my life. This summer, we brought it to life with a group of artists who I admire and love.
My hope of course, and I admit this is a selfish one, is that we continue to fly higher and keep collecting accolades and get that bigger production in NYC. I’m just not ready to let it go yet.
But, once we let the piece soar on it’s own, I have a feeling I’ll be more excited than I’ve ever been about it. I’ll be excited for that kid looking so desperately to fit in who finds it and in turn finds what he needs: hope.