This is the second (and final) report from my “sabbatical.” I suspended work on my weekly blog posts to work on the original musical Happily After Ever. In a word, thanks to an extraordinary company of creative colleagues, my expectations (which were pretty high!) were exceeded.
We are currently in the midst of four workshop performances. Two performances remain this coming weekend in New York’s Rockland County. Limited seating is still available; if you live in the New York/New Jersey region, it is not too late to see the show. Go to our website, here, to purchase tickets ($25 each); there is even a provision to make an extra contribution to the show if you are so inclined. 😊
Our first two performances in Montclair, NJ were heartily received. The overwhelming consensus was that our “product” is well worthy of our goal to pursue a sustained New York City run. Come join us and see for yourself!
That said, world events this October give one pause about devoting so much time to a play that could be described as a “silly love story” while the world is on fire. How can I justify my personal investment in time, treasure and emotional energy into such a lighthearted project when there are such pressing matters in the wider world?
But then I am reminded of the power of art in maintaining our humanity even in the most desperate of times. When I was at Intersections, we developed the play Uniform Justice as an antidote to the violence and despair in so many strife-torn neighborhoods between law enforcement personnel and the communities they serve.
In the response to Putin’s reckless invasion, Ukrainian artists picked up paint brushes and violins.
And as Israelis seek resistance to the wanton attack by Hamas and Palestinians pursue resilience from the ravages of a war they did not choose, it is through music, theatre and the arts that hope can be re-discovered and humanity restored.
Happily After Ever is so much more than a “silly love story.” It is the story of self-discovery in the face of dehumanizing oppressive social forces. But perhaps even more important, it is simply in the act of doing theatre itself, whatever the content of the play, that is the most powerful weapon we have against a world of unending violence and senseless hate.
I will return in two weeks to my regular routine of weekly blog posts that weave personal anecdotes with reflections on ancient texts and commentary of current events. Until then…keep the faith.