A Year of Theatre

March of 2014 was a period of deep reflection on what I wanted, and what was needed to make sure I stayed healthy. I had lived a long time, 13 years, doing what I was supposed to do. Working, many times two jobs. We never had enough money, or enough time. Life was going at a breakneck pace and the things I loved, theatre and writing, were put away as childish hobbies in the pursuit of real life. 

Then real life hits you like a freight train. Over and over I said that I felt as if I were a square peg trying to force myself into a round hole, and if you keep banging it long enough, it will crack. No matter how hard you try to make it work, it won’t. You will force and force and you’ll just end up miserable. 

At 37 I decided I’d rather be a terrible playwright than a really good (insert anything else). 

In March of 2014 I was very sick, sitting by myself, being asked what would make me happy. What would make me content. What had contributed to the crack of the square peg. I had to go through a series of exercises, painting, drawing and writing what I wanted my life to look like. 

I made a watercolor of Harbach theatre in Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, I wrote journal entry after journal entry about what I would regret not doing, and I drew a diagram and to-do list on how to go about fixing the cracks. 

I’m not saying mental health is easy, that one can just wave a magic wand and it all go away. There is a lot of work to be done when facing a mental illness. It’s real, it’s dangerous, and it has to be dealt with. Every day, every minute. Any weapon at your disposal must be utilized. One of my weapons is writing. 

In looking back at this blog, it is a time capsule of what I’ve done in one year. I’ve written 4 plays. I’ve attended more shows this year than I did the past 13. I held play writing workshops. I went on vacation. I got a new job. 

I couldn’t have done all these changes without my family’s support. I always have house responsibilities, but every spare minute I have is spent writing or attending a theatre production. 

How does it feel to be a terrible playwright? 

Pretty damn amazing. 

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