Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughts from the Artistic Director

As I type this, in the next room rehearsals on going on for the Madison Young Playwrights Festival which will be held this Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 1-4 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 973-514-1787 X34 and more information can be found at our website.

As promised, here are the program notes from John Pietrowski, Artistic Director.

If we have learned nothing else from these difficult times, I think we have remembered the need for, and value of, collaboration, compassion, listening, and creativity. So much of what we thought was true, so many of our assumptions about how the “world works,” have been altered, perhaps even torn apart. It has not been easy for many, and has sent many of us back to examine some basic values to see what we can find there.

For those who do ongoing work in the creative arts, or in any creative field for that matter, humbly questioning assumptions, lovingly tearing things apart, and lovingly putting them back together is an almost daily task that moves towards an unspoken goal of a connection with a spiritual self, a “better angel of our being” (to crib from Abraham Lincoln) that is almost always in a state of transcendence or renewal. What is happening in the world right now reflects what we are constantly doing with ourselves every time we create, unfortunately in the world there seems to be, in certain very loud and visible quarters, a lot less humility and a lot less love.

None of this process is mystical in the stereotypical sense of the word, and when you are working with the arts, there is that tangible product that must be made that grounds you. But it also tests you, and changes you, and ultimately becomes a reflection of who you are, who you were, and who you will be. It is life writ small and large all at once, and that magical moment on the stage, which Martin Esslin called the “Eternal Present,” wraps up all of the contradictions of being human into a package that we can study and admire. It is what we imagine existence to be, and if our imaginations are truly healthy, our daily lives, which are manifestations of our beliefs and imagined thoughts, will reflect that, and follow suit.

The theatre requires us to build a community of people who strive to really listen to each other, to compassionately collaborate to make a new world every time we set a piece of action into motion in a space. It is what we need right now. And this is why we need to honor these young writers who have taken a run at this and set yet one more positive and irreversible action into motion.

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