2020 Brings Changes
What a weird year this has been! It's definitely closing in a place that is very different from where it started - which I'm sure most people can relate to. Have a ton of things changed for you? I feel like a completely different person than I was at the beginning of the year!
In a nutshell, here's where the year went after my last post about a season of staged readings:
- The pandemic hit and the world shut down. Theatres cancelled shows to protect audiences and theatre workers. The Dominique of the Marsh workshop and TART's The Wild Party were both cancelled indefinitely.
- I started commuting back and forth to Waco to work with my family's renovation business after Dallas ISD shut down and I lost my substitute teacher gig. I got to learn a lot of new skills that hopefully one day I will apply to a house of my own :) And I got to spend quality time with my brother!
- My first foray into Zoom theatre happened when Haley Nelson asked me to direct a reading of a new play: The Amphibians by Dan Caffrey. It was an amazing experience with actors Bwalya Chisanga, Jon Garrard, and Dakota Ratliff, sound designer Alex Wade, and Dan. If you don't know Dan's work, you will. He is a talented playwright who brings horror to the stage in such cool ways.
- The biggest change happened when I was offered a full-time professorship with the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. I didn't think I was ready to leave Dallas again so soon, but with everything happening in the world, I took the leap and started teaching in August. Since then, I've directed She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms for the department, connected with former colleagues t
o serve on a panel for the Southeastern Theatre Conference 2021 Convention, helped develop a production of Oh the Humanity! and Other Good Intentions, and am championing a radical way for us to produce a COVID-friendly, live-streamed performance in the spring (that I'll be directing lol). It was a hard change to make, but I'm glad I did it. I've grown a lot in the last few months and proved to myself that I do, in fact, have a "hearty artistic spirit" as Steve Pearson said of me.
It's been such a long and challenging year for me, and for the world, but I am hopeful that 2021 will be the beginning of a new chapter for all of us, one that is full of joy, a new-found appreciation for being together in person instead of attached to our devices, and the renaissance of regional theatre :) Fingers crossed.
PS: I got a cat. His name is Bandit and he is the best boy.