Post image for Bridging Dallas

(This post is a part of the Artistic Innovation blog salon curated by Caridad Svich for the 2013 TCG National Conference: Learn Do Teach in Dallas. Click-through to read her thoughts on Day 1 and Day 2 of the Conference).

On this the last day of the live 2013 TCG Conference, thoughts turn to social bridging, free memberships to museums, advocating philanthropy, and learning a bit from loyalty programs that have been successful in the airline industry. Thoughts turn also to the bounty of actors of color in our field, and how much still need be done toward retraining socially conditioned thinking that somehow still persists in our industry that our actors don’t have “enough training.” As exhibitor platforms are put away and unsold books from the mobile TCG bookstore are packed up to be shipped back to the warehouse, a strange and unexpected sense of hope lingers in the air midst the many good-byes, so-longs, fare-thee-wells or quiet slipping out through the crowd of colleagues headed to their home cities, back to their days in offices, home studios, or touring. Everything is over, but is it? Will the many conversations held, officially (on panels) and not (over lunch and dinner and other things) continue and deepen throughout the year? Will the hope felt fade or will we carry it with us and into more profound spaces of reflection and action (too) with our colleagues in our cities and towns and across the miles?

The virtual space which we share here keeps the fire lit in its own way, and in the spirit of keeping the dialogue alive and flowing, I offer some musings and questions:

If, as playwright Erik Ehn once said, 21st century theatre may well be characterized by experiments with time and space, how are you re-looking at space and time in your work? In the process of making? In the practice hall? In production and beyond? What new or old/refashioned methodologies are you exploring in your art-making and why?

How do you keep your art-making alert to the little moments of the everyday – The side stories or glimpses of images and actions that are part of the world around you?

What new music will you venture out to give a listen, a real listen? What will start to sing through you in days and weeks and maybe even months to come? How will that song find its way into your poetry?

What new lines will dance across your pages and stages? How much will you dare? Will you let the approving elf  sit on your shoulder or ask it to go away, please, and let you do the work of facing dissonance as well as concordance in your art-making?

Will you let yourself, give yourself time to dream and do nothing for a while, and in that nothing-ness, find a way to truly listen to your heart and the world around you?

What neighborhood stories will rise up? What trans-national tales will surface on your streets and streets that may be less familiar to you but which you will venture through anyway?

How restless and curious and mischievous will you allow your art to be?

Consider the past – yesterday and the days before, and those days so long gone that you can’t even imagine what they may have been really like- and let its lessons – harsh and merciful – teach you.

Consider the string that holds hopes and fears aloft in this our theatre writ large and small.

Hold it tight. Don’t let go.

Here we go.

Caridad Svich received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for GUAPA, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the Isabel Allende novel. She has edited several books on theatre including Out of Silence (Eyecorner Press), Trans-Global Readings and Theatre in Crisis? (both for Manchester University Press) Divine Fire (BackStage Books), Out of the Fringe (TCG), and Conducting a Life: Reflections on the Theatre of Maria Irene Fornes (Smith & Kraus).