Four previews in the books, four talk-backs, four late night production meetings, four extended rehearsal sessions during the day; all the the advancements and learning moments that make working on a play such a dynamic, affirming collaboration… That is, when the right team is assembled, and the chemistry is well-balanced; all the elements are in place to fine-tune small production details; more performance adjustments. Yes, that familiar process of sharing a production with an audience, listening to feed-back, making and taking notes–all of that worked its magic. So that last night–opening night–at the theater, everything was in place for a dynamite performance, and a rapturous response from a packed audience. The morning had begun with a great feature article in The Washington Post Backstage columnn; interviews with director Eleanor Holdridge, and our lead actress, Megan Anderson.
It was a sweltering day in the city. It was another 9/11. And there was tension swirling about, but we were a unified community meeting the moment; a unified Council, and DCJCC board and staff, and theater community all gathered to toast the new season; to wish each other a good new year.
Here are my words of welcome just before the opening night curtain:
On the anniversary of 9/11, we are full of feeling and hope
And care for our country
For each other
For everything that’s happening 6000 Miles away.
We are about to embark on a Brave New Season
As we share in the program, The History Wars will be with us
This season. Battle lines between generations, between genders,
Between political, religious, and cultural camps will be sharply drawn.
And our dramas will be seeking resolution; rapprochement; or at the very least, a shedding of light — Even on a night such as this
When the electrical grid is being challenged as never before.
There is strain on the grid. But there is generosity in the heart.
And in this house. And in this art which we share with you tonight.
And so we gather, summoning our very best angels
(and saluting them as well)
to remember our history
remember those who aren’t here
and gather our courage for the journey ahead.