Now that THE DRAGON PLAY is up and running, I want to share the transcript of my final speech to my beautiful cast and crew:
To celebrate a beautiful opening weekend, I wanted to express my gratitude to you all. At the beginning of the rehearsal process Tracy shared the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Through all of your hard work, I have been constantly reminded of this. Despite having been at (almost) all of your rehearsals for the past six weeks and seeing innumerable runs–each experience of seeing you work has been a spiritual one.
Your work contains the element all theatre strives for–it stimulates an intense, primary emotional reaction. There are moments where I feel shivers running down my spine, where my hair stands on end, where I cry, where I feel intense joy. In these moments, I–as an audience member–am going deep into myself, connecting this theatrical experience to my own human experience. I am going so deep into myself, that I reach out past the soles of my feet and into the room where I connect with the collectivity of the audience–and with you and your art. In that moment we are all in THE PRESENT–a present that halts all ideas of linear time, merging us as one body.
In 1952, Emmanuel Levinas said, “A miracle entails a degree of irrationality–not because it shocks reason, but because it makes no appeal to it.” As a symbol, the dragon embodies this, and the play manifests this miracle. The dragon is both its own creation and its own destruction. It is an ourboros who endlessly creates the universe. While there are dragon characters in this play, the play itself is also a dragon whose ending contains its own beginning.
What is so magical about this piece is not only this greater symbolism, but that it is a journey of healing. As Woman revisits her past, she is not escaping from her life, but instead facing it head on and taking responsibility for her reality. Theatre is a healing art. Your art allows the audience to accompany you all on your respective healing journeys, and it opens up these pathways for them as well. Don’t take my word for it–just listen to what everyone has been saying after the shows.
You are all incredible artists and it has been a privilege to collaborate with you. You opened yourselves up and the rewards are immeasurable.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I will see you all soon and don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for any reason.
It was a very bumpy road, but as Mark Bly says “If you’re making good art you’ll always feel like you’re starting over” (I was going to fudge it when I remembered I had written it down!). As I was looking up that quote, I was struck by something else he said that applies to this show: “Some particles vibrate so much they move in another dimension…how big is your universe?”
Again, eternal love. Excited to unpack the craziness that has been this production. XXXXXO