The National Women's Theatre Festival

WTF Wednesday: The Show Must Go On?

Greetings WTFers!

All I can think about this week is the threat of a global pandemic.  

I\’m trying to think about it more as an engaged, responsible citizen. But most of the time, I admit,  I\’m thinking about how it impacts me and my corner of the world. I\’m thinking about my own health and navigating this moment as someone who is immune-compromised. I\’m thinking about what\’s best for my child. And I\’m thinking about my beloved theatre company, this beautiful organization and the people who make it so special. I have a responsibility to you and to my board and to our community to navigate this moment responsibly. 

Yo, that\’s a lot of responsibility. 

I\’ve been thinking primarily about the programming that\’s coming up….fast. And thinking about our old show biz addage: The Show Must Go On. Like many of you, I\’ve pushed on through tech on holidays, through illnesses, instead of being at sisters\’ graduations and grandmothers\’ birthdays. This persistence to our work has been a source of pride for so many of us for so long. 


When we talk about Freakshow and our July Festival, the show. must. go. on. The financial and logistical ramifications of canceling are truly unfathomable. Of course, operating a business that requires humans to convene in enclosed spaces during a pandemic……also unfathomable.

Every huge, gigantic, unfathomable challenge is an opportunity in disguise, right? So if we want the show to go on, can we look at new ways of presenting work? New ways of telling stories? New ways of communing with an audience? Even new ways of rehearsing? 

I think we can! I know we have devoted our lives to theater because we rather enjoy the experience of making and consuming art in a space with other humans. And that is still Plan A. But I don\’t want cancellation to be Plan B. We are theater-makers! Giving up should be Plan ZZ! 

I\’d love to hear from you! In what creative ways can we turn this unusual problem into an ingeneous solution? How do we keep our art alive and our community alive…..and our loved ones alive under these circumstances? If anyone can find a way, it\’s theatre people!

Before I sign off this week, I must use the power of my position and platform to say this:  Each of us have a right to make informed decisions about what is the best course of action for ourselves and the people we share our lives with. Each of us have a right to hold our health and the public health as our highest priorities. As theatre-makers, we are highly trained in practicing radical empathy. It\’s a practice we can employ at this time. Let\’s take care of each other!

Yours in parity,


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