We need a radical reimagining. And it’s up to us to do it. When I say “us,” I mean you, dear reader, and me. We can wait and hope and vote but this moment calls for more than that. As the visionary theater director, Anne Bogart, likes to ask her students, “What are you going to do with the meat?” The Great Pause provides us with the opportunity to dig deeper, ask hard questions and reinvent ourselves.
I admit it. I’ve spent a lot of this pandemic figuring out how to adjust to life-as-we-now-know-it. This became especially difficult when I finally accepted that there was no end in sight. Learning to stop trying to fight against complete uncertainty was hard and frightening.
FDR’s New Deal began with the notion that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This quote has been so overused as to become banal, but its core tenet rings true during this current moment of upheaval. The idea of going back to “normal” is not possible and it’s definitely not desirable during this national reckoning on race. The idea that after the pandemic is over theater and performance will return to what they were is equally tragic to me – we need to take this moment to reimagine what is possible in the live arts. The only thing getting in our way is our own sense of terror, and safe choices do not make for exciting and adventurous art.
Over the next few months, Pivot Arts will be doing internal work on issues of equity and inclusion. We are reinventing our organizational structure and we don’t yet know what’s on the other side. We’ll be reaching out through surveys, newsletters and yes, performances! Stay tuned (have you signed our mailing list?) and in the meantime, ask yourself, “What am I going to do with the meat?”
Photo above of dance artist, Brittany Harlin, who performed in the 2019 Pivot Arts Festival.