Monday, December 26, 2011

Change the World in Five Little Minutes!

It's the day after Christmas, and two distinct aromas still hang in the air. 

1) Goodness.  We've been reminded of man's good will to man all month.  Now we're all blue-balled on goodness, and that's uncomfortable. 

2) Boredom.  We've also spent the last six weeks slowing down our lives.  As Americans, we can normally handle "slow" for about four days, so now we're all itching to do somethingAnything.  Let's get back to work, right?

What can you do now to scratch both of these itches at once? Go here and support T: An MBTA Musical before December 31!  If you already voted, please tell a friend to do the same.  It really will make a difference. 

I know -- Oh God, the endless self-promotion! -- but if you aren't convinced that this is a noble cause, lend me two minutes to appeal to a greater good.  Believe it or not, something in this blog is not (only) about me. 

Boston, for those of you not familiar, has a tough theatre scene to break into as a writer (or actor, or director, but let me "write what I know").  While there are programs in place to support local writers, the path from being "supported" to being produced is murky at best.  In fact, a vast majority of the "new work" being produced in Boston is either a) work by local writers who are in truth already established or b) work that, while ostensibly "new," has already generated a buzz in another city, often New York.  There are notable exceptions to this rule (a quick shout-out here to Boston Playwrights Theatre and Club Oberon, as well as to the small / fringe companies trying to cultivate new work, including ImprovBoston).

But back to the point -- yes, a true new work produced in Boston by Boston artists is a rare thing indeed. 

Further consider:

How many plays, books, songs, paintings, sculptures, movies etc can you name that you thought about ever again after seeing / reading / viewing them?  Sadly, we can walk away from most art more or less unchanged.  Factor in the incredible number of creations that never made it to an audience in the first place, and we as artists are failing at a disturbingly high rate.  Established theatres can't entirely be blamed for relying on those rare pieces proven to work. 

But back to T: An MBTA Musical

Here, we have something truly unusual.  We have an original work by unestablished local artists (writers, director, choreographer, actors), produced in Boston in an 85-seat, not-for-profit space.  Audiences responded to the point of talking about it after they left the theater.  On a personal note, given the odds of success on any given project, I may not ever be part of something this successful again.  And it is one-hundred percent good for the Boston theatre scene for this show to thrive. 

For those of you who quibble with this mini-analysis of Boston theatre, please, please prove me wrong.  For the rest of you, please go vote to support an original Boston-bred work.  We're nominated in the Fringe / Small category for Best Lead Actress (two nominations), Best Director and Best Musical.

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