Sunday, June 14, 2009


I have been melancholy of late, as you know, floundering about without a show. I joked with a friend the other day that I don't know who I am when I'm not working on a play. And in a sad way I find that to be true.

I've been thinking a lot lately, even before this time, about what my theatrical dreams have been. What I have always longed for was to be part of a true repertory company. To have a home theatre. To be challenged with roles and called out for my bad habits and trusted to try new things. To have a community with whom I work again and again. To develop a language of working together and to inspire each other to think of things in a new way. To struggle and laugh and party and CREATE ART together.

When I greedily watched 3 seasons worth of Slings and Arrows in 2 weeks, all while in rehearsals and performances, I found that one of the things that attracted me most was that it was a show about a repertory theatre company. A show about what I long to do, with all the highs and lows of that.

There are very few true repertory companies left. There are some summer repertory companies. But most theatres that call themselves repertory companies do not truly have a COMPANY.

The theatre community in NOLA isn't terribly large. I have worked with many of the same people over and over.

But it's not the same. There is not something here that fits the bill.

I struggle with just accepting that and making the best of what IS here. Which is what I do, I suppose. But I wonder, sometimes, if there is a way to make it happen. You know, other than winning the lottery and then building a fabulous facility and inviting a few of my favoritist actors and directors and friends from across the country to come and make my dream come true. I've thought about trying to make it happen here for me, on a smaller scale. But I'm not sure I know who I would want to make it happen with, here. I know that I've never wanted to run a theatre. But it's still the dream. I don't think the opportunity is going to fall in my lap, and I'm not in the position to audition for rep companies and move where the job is. I have a family and I have a husband who can't just get a job anywhere. So I am here. And if this is going to remain the dream, then I need to think about how to make it work. Can I make it work?

I'm not expecting to find answers to this any time soon. But it is what is percolating in my melancholy brain these days.


Anonymous said...

there may be someone for whom the dream IS to run a theatre ... talking to people about your dream is a way to stir up others'.

Karen said...

your dream sounds exciting and possible - I'll be hoping and waiting to see what happens!

Anonymous said...

There are companies left. My husband is on the board of one. Not everyone is involved with every show, but it is completely run as a company. It's pretty cool. Of course, I've never seen a show b/c he's only been on the board six months and I am nursing every night...

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think the face of theater is changing, just as the face of publishing is. One of the main problems is that we just don't support our Arts the way we should and it's harder for repertory companies to stay solvent.

It's worth continuing to dream, though, and see what you might come up with.

Furrow said...

Although it's frustrating to be at a place of dissatisfaction, that's when things happen! I hope exciting things happen for you as you stir your pot of dreams.

Mary G said...

There's nothing wrong with dreaming -- and there may be ways. I hope it can happen for you.

alejna said...

I wish I knew a wealthy benefactor to send your way. New Orleans seems like it would be a wonderful place to have repertory company.

I wonder if you'll find a way to make it work, though.

(Though I'm in a totally different field, this post spoke to me. I've been dealing with melancholy and the career- and identity-related restlessness myself.)

flutter said...

I am wishing you up success beyond your wildest dreams

Kyla said...

Don't close the door completely, it can be surprising the sort of opportunities you find when you are on the lookout. I hope you find what you are looking for soon.

All Rileyed Up said...

I'm sending you an imaginary and virtual serenade of Dream the Impossible Dream now.

I hear you on the looking for a place to belong. Been going through a lot of that myself. Glad to know I'm in good company.

On another note, have you done any work with Southern Repertory Theatre? I did an internship there years ago when I was in college, under Rosary O'Neill. Ever come across her in your theatre work?

Ms. N said... friends and I have discovered that when you need to work on something and nothing is in the offing so to speak, one must get ones fav readers together and read fav plays out-loud with wine and other nice things. Maybe nothing comes of it, but it can fill the void a little.

Sending good thoughts!

imbeingheldhostage said...

This is actually a good thing. You're stopping to take stock of where your dreams are now and where they need to go. You're mentally healthy :-)
You may find that something brilliant that you never expected will come from your brain percolating.
Here's to some good brain brew!

Beck said...

It's hard.
I have friends here who love the theatre and so they run local little theater groups of small and not-quite good quality and is it enough? No. But it's SOMETHING.