I have made a list of ten things so I can read it in the future. A month from now. A year from now.
Last night we had a Zoom meeting with a group of artists that will be going into in-person rehearsals at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre in a couple of weeks on a work -in- development for next season. We’ll be coming together for a full week to pick up a thread we had to drop in March, find out what a rehearsal looks like in the Fall of 2020, and work with members of the ensemble in the same room.
It’s hard for me to believe I just wrote those words. But I am grateful that so far, I can.
We are lucky to be living in Nova Scotia, where currently the number of active cases remains low and the restrictions we face are workable for the development activity we want to accomplish. We are also lucky that our home at the Ross Creek Centre is leading the way on how to meaningfully engage artists safely and productively at this extraordinary time.
My mind has been racing after the Zoom meeting. I have so many thoughts, and I want to record how I feel before we come together in person.
1. Artists are problem-solvers and collaborators and some of the best listeners I know.
2. We’re working to come together because, on some level, we need to.
3. Integrating our family lives and our artistic lives is no longer negotiable. Professional theatre can’t, and shouldn’t, happen without accommodation to our families’ needs. Our families make our artistic lives possible. As an arts organization, we need to support and understand the individual and varied needs of the families that are impacted by our work. That is what I define as “Professional Conduct” now.
4. None of us are the same people we were in March. That is a challenging opportunity that requires patience, love and a kind of listening that maybe not all of us were practicing 6 months ago, and need to now. It is never too late to listen.
5. We are not working to get back to normal. We are working on something better.
6. Our resilience is not, perhaps, what it was in March. That has to be part of our plan.
7. Every time I have an opportunity to help assemble a group of creators in a room is a moment full of incredible potential. The trick is to never forget it.
8. If I don’t have an answer, one of my colleagues does.
9. If they don’t know, the conversation about why they don’t know is almost as useful as the answer I was looking for.
10. I want to practice Radical Empathy. I don’t exactly know what that is yet, but I sure like the sound of it. We’ll make it up as we go along.