We reopen Stages this week. I always say We and that confuses people. “I thought you did one person shows.” They’re right. My shows are solo affairs, mainly because I like making sure I have the most lines in whatever play I’m doing.
While I might be the only person on stage, so many people’ go into making it all happen. The entire writing and rehearsal process with Adam Knight. The lighting design by Lauren Duffie. Miles Boinest creating the sound scape of the show. All the people who opened their theatres to me for readings and performances. Sharon Graci at PURE and Maegan Azar Furman. Keith Best at Francis Marion and Teri Parker Lewis at the Fine Arts Center. Charlie and Angie Flynn-Mciver up at NC Stage Company. Heather Adams at the Downtown Dance Collective in Missoula, MT and the folks at Camp Make a Dream. Lisa Epstein at Hofstra and Clinton Holden with Prisma. All the people I’m forgetting.
Then there are the people who have taken the time to write about the show, especially Kinsey Gidick for being a champion of the blog from early on.
Not to mention Jaimie, for letting me write and share about that deeply personal time in our lives.
That’s just the people on the artistic end. As anyone who takes my Intro to Theatre class knows, theatre isn’t theatre until people show up to see it. And no matter how long I do this I am constantly always amazed that people actually show up. That humans, with all the things humans have going on in their lives, take time out of their schedule, make plans, buy tickets, get showered, get dressed, hire a babysitter, leave their house, drive to dinner, eat the dinner, put the leftovers in the car, find parking, pick up their tickets, use the bathroom, sit next to total strangers in the dark, all to come here me tell a story.
And this story in particular. This disease touches so many people. It’s almost impossible not to know someone who has dealt with it in some way, whether as a patient or a caregiver. To be willing to go on a journey with a topic this potentially devastating, a journey that, not to pat myself on the back, includes lots and lots of laughter, as well as moments of fear and introspection, that is no small feat. You are officially a dream audience member. Because it lets the world know you recognize theatre for the powerful, community building, life affirming art form that it is, and not just a vehicle for for the latest juke box musical.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with juke box musicals. Especially if you are an Equity theatre looking to cast a 40 year old tenor.)
So while I might be the only person on stage, WE open on Friday.
Tickets are available here. davidleenelson.com/stages
Can’t wait to see you all there.