Yay, we played! My theatre organization hosted what we call A Day of Play where we simply spend time playing, get to know one another, build community. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure how many people would show, if any. I am constantly reminding myself and others we are in the midst of a pandemic that has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives and we should, above all things, be safe.
We were in a beautiful wide-open park, six-feet apart. It was safe, fun and it was rewarding to see smiling faces behind masks, youth and young adults releasing their fear, trauma through laughter, engaging in theatre games that for one hour allowed everyone to imagine, and create a better reality.
Afterward, unexpectedly, we were able to extend that joy to strangers as we fed them lunch and handed out safety kits. One thing that stood out to me most was a man who sat on the sidewalk in his wheelchair. For whatever reason, he didn’t approach us but he was definitely checking us out from a distance. Once we engaged with him, gave him food, he smiled and went on his way.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, once I settled in at home, I received the cutest message from a shy five-year-old, “I had so much fun. I want to do it again.” (I’m not crying, you are)
Sometimes we think we can only contribute to the fight against social injustice (or any cause) a certain way, especially when other platforms are large and voices loud we can feel buried, unseen, like what we do won’t make a difference if we aren’t on the frontlines.
This weekend I was reminded of the importance of my role as an artist, community member, wife, mother, CEO, and (although I seldom stand on large platforms) the ability I have to influence those around me.
It’s moments like this, working with my family, being in a position to impart the positive, connect to and uplift others through the rendering of art that reciprocates in feeding my soul, gives me hope, increases my faith.
It doesn’t matter if you have five, five hundred or five hundred thousand followers, few or many friends, how grand the role, wide the audience, your part is just as important so, play your role to the fullest. Have fun with it! Love on people and don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad about it.
Here is a modest list of starting points;
Check-in on your family and friends
Build community by joining groups that interest you
If you can’t get out and do the work, support organizations who are
Get to know someone who doesn’t think, act, or look like you
Choose love over hate