It's hard to believe it's already been two weeks since we closed 12 Chairs, the first show of ReVamp's 2016-17 season. Eleven days, twelve performances, six directors, fourteen actors, five visual artists, two double-headers, more late nights at Quig's than were necessary - what a whirlwind! Coordinating six different director/cast teams was a major logistical undertaking, but seeing wildly different but equally brilliant and engaging different takes on John O'Hara's play made it all worth it. Our supremely talented directors and actors knocked it out of the park. If you missed it, or want to relive the experience, check out Henrik Eger's Phindie interview with our directors about their unique visions for the piece.
What made this production a particularly poignant experience was that we ran in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election. On November 9, I, like so many, was a human blob of sadness, anger, fear, disappointment, and emotional exhaustion. But as they say, the show must go on, and as that evening's cast and director, and the other artists who came out for opening arrived at Plays & Players, I felt my spirits lift for the first time all day. And it made me realize that what we, and all performing and visual artists do, is now more important than ever. Fun fact: thirty female artists worked on this production of 12 Chairs. Many of us were strangers when the process began. But with hard work, cooperation and creativity, we brought this story to life. And that's what we have to continue to do, not just in the theater (although that's a great place to start), but in the wider world as well. Work together. Listen to each other. Be kind to each other. Get creative in the face of challenges. Give opportunities to everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. Because that's how change, in all its many forms, will continue to happen.
With that in mind, we're already looking ahead to our next production, the short-play festival Brief (Political) Encounters, a one-night-only show on February 5, 2017 at Plays & Players. We're still accepting submissions, so if you're feeling feelings about the election or current political climate, turn them into art! Submission guidelines are here.
Til next time, friends!
-Kristen M. Scatton