Sunday, March 11, 2012
It Takes a World of Courage to Just Be Who You Are
Last weekend was a watershed moment for Rights of Passage. We had a brainstorming meeting that included talented designers and technicians who have signed on to bring the play to life. These professionals will lead the way in determining the look, feel, sound and soul of the play under the able direction of Arturo Catricala. To help set the mood, we pulled out what we had in the way of Balinese artifacts: shadow puppets, textiles, masks, books and photographs, then settled in, with a little wine and food, for a very interesting discussion that helped us all to see the play in a different light. Illuminated as it was by the vision of a host of theatre professionals exercising their creativity. It was a glimpse into the future and it was thrilling.
Beyond the lights, the costumes and the physical reality of the play, there is another big challenge as we move into a wider promotional phase. How do we capture the interest and emotions of the public, and potential donors? Up until now we've been talking in terms of "a play about LGBT human rights" -- accurate, but not exciting. It sounds like you're buying a ticket to an earnest, well-meaning production that will result in glazed eyes before the end of act one, a thirst for something alcoholic and the determination to avoid, at all costs, the second act.
This is a problem. And one that we have to solve if the play is to succeed. Rights of Passage tells a story, multiple stories, about people who want to be themselves and the courage that takes in an often hostile world. That's the thread that runs through this play and once we figure out the best way to convey that, you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, try this on for size: "It takes a world of courage to just be who you are: Rights of Passage."
Photo: Rights of Passage production brainstorming meeting, 3/4/12.