What do I wish for 2021?
After the return to safety and health for the public, I wish a return to the theatre, to watch artists make magic by creating stories before our very eyes.
But there’s something I wish for even more. Theatre artists have been patient during the pandemic, as everyone pressed pause for the public good.
So what I wish for theatre practitioners is the coming year is that organizations and companies have their back by thinking about their good. Every artist I know has learned what it is to live their lives in completely different ways. They are now able to make dinner at a leisurely pace, rather than rushing to rehearsal. They know what it is to think about things larger than art. And they have learned how to tell stories over Zoom and radio and through archival work. And it’s time that the flexibility and sacrifices they’ve made are rewarded.
We need to respect theatre practitioners’ health and time. We have had time in the last year to agonize over the hectic schedules we usually put on our artists, and to reflect on how little equity we see on our stages, and on the whole, we must admit that we pay creators almost nothing for their efforts.
It’s a New Year. There’s still time. Organizations and companies can create practices of equity and pay artists a livable wage. The time is now, while we have it. Let’s make a new way in a new year. That is my wish for 2021.