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That's life (that's life), that's what all the people say

You're ridin' high in April, shot down in May

But I know I'm gonna change that tune

When I'm back on top, back on top in June

Frank Sinatra


Spring in June?

Doesn't it feel good to be here? Let's be honest, a year ago we didn't know the road that was in front of us.

We had no idea the social, political, and personal upheaval that was coming.

We lived in hope that it would all be over soon and life would return to normal.

We were getting to the end of Netflix, we were growing tired of having food delivered.

Well, here we are a year later and for the first time in a long time there is a sense of hope. Something is coming. There is light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time in almost 15 months it doesn't feel like its a train!

There is hope.

There is cautious joy!

People are starting to gather again. People are traveling again. People are hugging again.

Soon people will be in a theatre again!

Granted, we all have a degree of PTSD because of the last 15 months. We are a little tentative about setting our hopes too high, lest they be dashed again. But, there is a change in the air. A spring in our collective steps --- dare we say a rebirth.

Life is returning. It might not be the "normal" that was, but it will be the normal that "is" and as long as the "new" normal includes hugs, theatre, and being with people we love, we say BRING IT ON!

What are you most excited about? What puts a spring in your step? What is the first trip you will take? The first concert you will see?

Let us know at we want to share in your joy!


Kafka project update

We are excited to report that we have a first draft of the play in hand! Tamara Kissane has worked tirelessly to create a magical, poignant story --- with music! Just imagine Busby Berkley mermaids, giant white birds, and trips the moon!!! That is just a little taste of what lies ahead for our beloved doll! The first draft is a baby step, trust us when we say it is a HUGE baby step! We can't wait to dive into it and work with her and composers to bring it to life. We will be applying for grant opportunities to ensure that we are able to compensate all the artists that will breathe life into this work! Thank YOU for all your story contributions. You might hear or see them the stage!


Welcome May’s guest blogger, Hayden Tyler!

This month we welcome, Hayden Tyler to the guest blogger family. Hayden is a Raleigh-based artist. Some of their favorite memories of performing, creating, and teaching live theatre in the Triangle area include Seussical (RLT), Rudolph (DECPA), Godspell (BLT), Lion King KIDS (Sonorous Road) and Anything Goes (Temple). Recent credits include The Tempest (Theatre 444) and Always Will (World Premiere). They advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion of under-celebrated communities. Hayden graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in English from Lees-McRae College. Take it away Hayden!


Can I tell you a secret? I love wearing a mask. And it has nothing to do with science or reason, though I do find those things valuable; it's purely superficial. I think they look cool. I like the ones I bought, even that overpriced $20 mask, because it glitters, and it's pretty. I like the one that has a little cartoon vampire mouth, because it's cute and spooky. I like the one that has a galaxy pattern, for no particular reason. Just because.

Can I tell you a secret? I hate wearing a mask. I hate the visible reminder of the pandemic, the sense of stress it brings about the inferences we make about others based on how, where, and how often they wear masks. I hate the feeling of being on guard, of not relaxing until I can take my mask off!

And that's okay. I can have two conflicting secrets. During this pandemic, I'm confronting my conflicting secrets, which shakes me to my core, yet what I find at the center is an anchor of peace.

Can I tell you a secret? Most of this has to do with social media. I find that it allows people to conduct themselves in a very idealistic way, when those same people are actually much chiller irl than they are online. I watched people I love fight each other, connected to their combatant only through me. People I haven't spoken to in years randomly pop up and inflame a delicate conversation. People from all the social circles in my life, who sometimes don't understand each other but haven't had the opportunity to know each other, except through their connection to me.

This is not what I signed up for!

Okay, so social media is free. I'm not here to get into a thing about data mining ethics, I accept that using a free online service means I pay some kind of non-money price. I recognize that I can't dictate how others act on this platform; I tried intervening, and educating, and listening with empathy, and it drained me. So I went dark for the winter.

Can I tell you a secret? It was awesome. And strangely, so hard? I thought about how I wanted other people to think of me, what I wanted from social media and how I wanted to use it, and the expectations others have of my social media presence. I came to the conclusion that I had to merge my real, physical self and my digital self in the best and most authentic way for me.

We talk about mental health, and we should. We are beginning to talk about emotional health as well, which is good! And we've been talking about our physical and spiritual health, that's been normalized for a long time. I call these the four spheres of life, which I learned about from studying sacred geometry. Basically, it goes like this- you have four areas of priority in your life: spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional. If you spend equal amounts of energy on them, you will have balanced self-care. Which helps you live your best life!

Can I tell you a secret? I think there's five spheres of life now. I think it's time to add the digital sphere. It's time to figure out how we can self-care our digital selves so they heal from the damage we take. Like it or not, the digital self is here to stay; and I have to figure out how I'm going to put it in balance with the other aspects of my self.

Recently I replaced my phone by insurance, which because of how the world is now, took five days. Five days without social media, yes, but also five days of no phone calls. No texts. No Webtoon. No way to phone for help in an emergency. No GPS either- I printed directions from MapQuest (thank you MapQuest, you're still the goat). Suddenly I had to pivot my money handling, my communications, my sense of threat (and you may remember I'm not fond of that feeling).

Did you know it's a lot harder to stay connected to the theatre world when you aren't using your digital self? I missed out on all the hot news and developments, all the job postings, the pictures and inspiration from artists like myself who in March 2020 lost employment in three economic sectors. The digital self has real positive consequences, too- it gives us that sense of community, it dispels loneliness, and it keeps us connected to people we instantly loved but haven't seen since that one audition like six years ago.

Can I tell you a secret? I've barely done any theatre since the pandemic. I've been focused on building my stability, which is admittedly way easier when I'm not working two jobs (and juggling a few hustles) in order to afford opportunities to do what I love. Taking that digital winter break was a breath of fresh air, a reminder that I am more than a theatre artist. I remembered that I am a complete and valuable person outside what I offer through my art. It's hard to watch theatre gearing back up without me; but I know that when I am ready to rejoin, it will be with the full ease and confidence that comes with the security and balance I've cultivated for myself, in all five spheres.

The digital sphere has real consequences. I've been having a lot of fun discovering how to integrate it with my other sphere. It actually led me to this one last secret, which it's okay for me to tell you, right? It's so easy to be kind. To extend forgiveness. I used to get so exhausted from carrying the weight of fixing the world on my shoulders- until I learned to truly forgive myself for failing to do it perfectly. It's so easy to be gentle to someone, to radiate genuine kindness and love, because it leads you to more genuine and joyful connections. You'll see how many other people are truly loving and kind. TL; DR the digital self is real and we need to integrate it into our whole selves! Also forgiveness, kindness, and empathy are like so important.


Thank you so much Hayden!

We couldn't agree more. You are so right about kindness and forgiveness. it is easy to forget to LEAD WITH LOVE. A lot of our past 18 months has been spent in a digital realm and being around people again will require us to rebuild our social stamina! One great way to do that will be safely see a show. Safely enjoy a drink and conversation with friends. Put down the devices and live in the analog world for awhile. It is amazing what you will see and hear!


One last thing before we go: We would be remiss if we didn't ask for your help!

As you know, we relaunched our Patreon page after almost a year of being dormant due to the pandemic. As we dive deeper into our Kafka project your monthly pledges will go directly to paying all the artists involved in the project

You can access our Patreon page here.

If you prefer to give a one-time donation via a credit card, that’d be swell, too. There is a link on our website where you can use PayPal or your credit card. You can access PayPal now by clicking here.

Thank you so much for your continuing support and for keeping the faith in us!

We are so grateful for your support and we can't wait to see you all very soon!

Drink Deep,

David and Susannah


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You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife

You may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"

— Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads


Where does the time go?

We are already 5 months into 2021. How did we get here?

Did you hear us gulping?

Time is still flying by. It’s still blurry. But it’s time for us to harness it back. Time to refocus our energy and to stop giving it over to a powerful virus. There are too many powerful viruses that plague our country right now, not just COVID-19. It’s time to emerge from our 14-month hibernation, to stand up on our feet in strength and resolve, united to create a future that is vibrant and thriving.

It is the month of May, which got us thinking about the word “may.” It has many meanings and they are strong!

MAY: Named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Also from the Latin word maiores, “elders,” who were celebrated during this month. Maia was considered a nurturer and an earth goddess, which may explain the connection with this springtime month.

MAY: An expression of possibility, a permissive choice to act or not, as distinguished from "shall," which is an imperative or often mandatory course of action.MAY: Old English mæg, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘have power’

MAY: May is a modal verb. It is used with the base form of a verb. You use “may” to indicate that something will possibly happen or be true in the future, but you cannot be certain.

Boy, if there was ever a password for how we are feeling right now, it is “MAY.”

You may or may not be happy that spring has sprung. You may be planting your garden physically and metaphorically, delighting in the beauty and possibility this season of life has to offer, or you may be cursing the allergies and discomfort you are experiencing because of it. It’s always your choice.

You may be celebrating your elders right now, as both of us have done in the past few weeks, with Susannah flying to California to see her parents for the first time in 14 months and David mourning the loss of his beloved father, Jerry, who passed away in April.

You may be pondering the possibility of real, true, social change and justice following the conviction of Derek Chauvin in April on three counts of murder and manslaughter. You may be considering whether to act or not to help create a better, more just, inclusive, and equal world. If 2020 didn’t shake you up, honestly, we don’t know what will. Sitting on our collective hands is no longer an option; a mandatory course of action is needed to turn around the COVID-19 crisis, the violence against Black and AAPI citizens, our mass shooting murder problem, and and and and…. Yes, it will take all of us to decide we want to do something about the cancers that plague our country. We may not turn a blind eye to them.

We have the power. WE are the country, solutions are not out of our hands. The answers may possibly happen. A corrective course of action may happen in the future, but we cannot be certain. We can only be certain that we WANT it to happen and then act in each others’ best interests on that desire.

Theatre is a collective art form. We tell stories together. We share our human experience with each other so that we can feel what it’s like to walk in each others’ shoes. This creates understanding. When we understand each other, we have empathy for each other and we are no longer alone. “Together” just works better than going it alone. We may or may not see the positive changes we so desperately need in the near future, but we won’t get there without working collectively.


Things I am liking this month by Susannah

This brief and lovely blog written by playwright Mashuq Mushtaq Deen hit me in my very deeps. Deen writes about advocating in his community and the power of words as a brown-skinned, transgender, gay man born to Muslim Indian parents. “We must tell the stories of our lives, through our particular lenses. When you read my words, I don’t want you to step over the hard ones, I want you to feel them all, as I did. I want you to say them out loud when you read this essay to your lover, to your mother, to your friend. Art is not meant to be a comfortable, or even a safe space if safety means that we will not be disturbed or troubled by what we experience. Disturbance and discomfort are part of a necessary alchemy. Art is provocative; it provokes something in the cultural subconscious. It challenges us. And it should. It exacerbates a wound, one we pretend not to have, and it is good that it does this. Because the wound is not the problem, it’s the way we’ve declined to deal with it that’s causing so much pain… And finally, what is most important and always lost is that we need to be kinder with ourselves. Deeply embedded in our judgment of others, in our inability to forgive others for their flaws, is our own inability to forgive ourselves. Every act of forgiveness requires an act of self-forgiveness ... for allowing ourselves to get hurt, for needing a love that did not come, for not being strong enough to not get hurt in the first place.”


My aunt, fine art photographer Charlotte Watts, turned me on to this link. It is a beautiful study of young people on the autism spectrum and their brave caregivers. See how three photographers portray the richness of neurodiversity, and reveal what may not be immediately obvious to the eye. Yes, I wept because it is my story, too, but I think you’ll love these photos. Photography, like theatre, is one of the most powerful forms of visual language and also a relational tool—a pretext to entering someone else’s world and getting to know them. Photographs: Mary Berridge, Carol Allen-Storey, and Erin Lefevre Essay by: Joanna L. Cresswell


And if, like me, you need distraction and respite from the trials of the day, look no further than my new favorite Instagram account. I can’t get enough of this little guy.


Welcome May’s guest blogger, Lormarev Jones!

Lormarev Jones is a Director, Choreographer, and Educator currently based in Raleigh. She received her MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College. Lormarev has served as a director and choreographer at many theatres and high schools in the Triangle, including North Carolina State, Meredith College, Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh Little Theatre and many others. She is also a deviser, playwright, and solo performer. Lormarev currently teaches at NCSU while continuing to freelance in all her areas of expertise. Take it away, Lorma!


What a time to be alive, am I right?

In March of 2020, I was in the midst of 3 choreography projects, and had just completed three others in February. Meaning: I had six different shows running through my head at the beginning of last year.

I knew I was pushing the limits of what I could feasibly juggle. But when you’re an adjunct – you have to make hay when the sun is shining – because the hay (pay) is shit. These choreography projects LITERALLY paid my rent, and the money earned from that work would become my lifeline when the world shut down.

As an artist, I counted myself lucky as a creator that did not lose all my streams of income. In fact, I was able to create a new passive stream of income – through the virtual theatre space that became the industry’s primary way of telling stories during this time. My solo play, My Geriatric Uterus, was originally scheduled to be remounted in the summer of 2020 – and I had absolutely no interest in figuring out how to adapt it.

Then June 2020 came. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breyonna Taylor and George Floyd took center stage, and suddenly people realized that racism was still a thing. My show focuses on the intersections of Capitalism, race, and the demands placed on the bodies of black women; unfortunately, it seemed as though some of the material I had written in the Spring of 2019 were quite clairvoyantly commenting on 2020. I didn’t want to seem like I was trying to capitalize on black trauma, but the show’s relevancy had intensified somewhat.

I quit the hand-wringing and assembled the original production team to collaborate on how to adapt. By July, I had seen so much virtual theatre; I wasn’t a fan of most of it. Pointing a camera at a stage did not appeal to me. My director (Carolyn Guido Clifford) and I decided to lean into the meta-theatre/show-within-a-show concept that had been built into the original stage play – and utilize the film-specific things that we couldn’t possibly have done in a stage play. Another friend handled all of the marketing and ran interference for the Kickstarter campaign that full funded the project!

We also made cuts. Theatre is an ethereal nature to theatre, an immediacy that really can’t be reproduced in a virtual format. I cut a lot of writing that didn’t work for film, or might seem redundant in this new setting. I also changed the ending, which was somewhat graphic and did not seem appropriate through a 2020 lens.

I am surprisingly proud of how My Geriatric Uterus: The Digital Experience turned out. It has been viewed in many states and several countries, by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. It is weird and surreal to get messages every so often from people that have seen it, as recently as this month – when I filmed over two days at Shadowbox Studios in Durham, NC LAST JULY. I am so disconnected from that performance in a way that I am not used to as a theatre artist.

On the other hand, being an educator with several streams of income saved me from economic collapse – but as I mentioned, that pace was not sustainable.

I felt guilty that I appreciated the time to reflect, to slow down, to REST. Rest that was desperately needed. The pause allowed me to reassess my priorities, my goals and most importantly, my MISSION.

What is my mission, exactly? Well, I’m still working on it. Making theatre is part of it, but that’s not particularly specific, and as we learned this year – theatre is fleeting and not always accessible. Here’s what I DO know: I make better theatre when I am in community with those who share my values. Equity, accessibility, curiosity, collaboration, compassion, authenticity and joy = those are my values. I want to create work in environments that value people over profit – where rest is not only allowed but encouraged and celebrated. I had promised myself post-grad school that I would not run myself into the ground for theatre anymore – and the March 2020 shutdown elucidated that I had broken that promise.

I find myself at the end of my fourth semester teaching theatre in higher education as an adjunct. Meaning, (1) I have now taught theatre online for an entire academic year, and (2) About 63% of my entire career in higher ed has been online. I am exhausted. I’d bet you are too.

Although the pace of life has slowed, everything takes more energy now. Outings, social gatherings, even work. Now that things are ramping back up again, I am hesitant to sign on to projects for fear of getting back into the habit of overextending. I have no desire to go back to “normal,” because normal wasn’t healthy. Or sustainable. I am envisioning and manifesting a new kind of artistic life for myself, a more intentional one that reflects my values and allows me to care for my self physically, mentally, and creatively.

The unnerving stress, uncertainty and constant screen time of the past 395 days has worn us out. I have lost count of the number of times I have told my students, my peers, my colleagues (and myself) to drink water. We cannot control so many things – but we can choose how we respond and take care of ourselves in this life.


And remember that I love you.


❤️ We love you, too, Lormarev. We miss you on our local stages. Thank you for sharing your perspective on making a life with theatre. You MAY be the wisest theatre artist we know.

That’s it for May 2021. Our work continues with The Unititled Kafka Project and planning for another show as soon as we can safely return to theaters. More on that soon. As always, we appreciate your support and we long to see you all again in the lobby before or after a show. We have so much to catch up on, so many stories to share with each other. We want to hear every one of yours. Until then, take Lormarev’s advice. Always remember to


— Susannah and David

Honest Pint produces small, intimate, human stories. We make a different kind of theatre that we have a thirst for and that we believe others do, too. People see themselves reflected in our shows and are changed by witnessing them. To support our mission, you can make a donation here.



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The early morning rain, falling on my window

Makes me think of you again

I pretend that you're here with me

And tho' it seems like April again

It's not the same

It's not the same…

— Dean Martin

Hello, Huckleberry Friends!

It’s April 2021. Thirteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Nineteen months since a live Honest Pint production graced a stage. Although we have seen you virtually a few times for some Zoom events, it’s just not the same.

It’s just not the same as being together in the room, sharing our humanity, our experience, our thoughts, our fears, our laughs. But with another spring ticking off the calendar, we continue to hold out hope that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel. As we write this letter on Easter Sunday, we feel a sense of hope. Whether the day celebrates Christ’s resurrection or whether it means chocolate bunnies and hiding eggs, it is a day and time to celebrate renewal and rebirth. No, it won’t be the same coming out of this pandemic. We won’t be the same, and we shouldn’t be. Nothing will ever be the same.

That’s an intimidating and perhaps scary thought — to be reborn into something new and unfamiliar. But if we lead with love and faith that we will be better for having gone through this time of change and rebirth, we will not only be ok, we will be stronger, more courageous, more vulnerable, more kind, more open, more supportive, more reflective, more everything.

So stay in this moment, and feel all of your feelings about it. Surrender to the change and trust that even though things will never be the same, they will be ok. Not just ok, they will be GOOD. Maybe even GREAT if we allow them to be.

Hot off the press


We are so grateful to be fully vaccinated and for the volunteers, scientists, and leaders that made this possible! The vaccination site was full of people laughing and smiling and we all felt so good knowing we are moving forward as a country. There is light at the end of the tunnel and this is our first step to being back in the room with you. Small but determined steps…

But we also thought you might be interested in hearing about how other, larger regional theaters are adapting and coping one year into the pandemic. Here is an excerpt from American Theatre Magazine:

“Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? With the pandemic necessitating adaptation, flexibility, and, yes, even branching outside of the normal way of producing, two theaters in the Southwest have pushed through the limitations of the pandemic to try something different. In Phoenix, the 101-year-old Phoenix Theatre Company (the sixth oldest regional theatre company in the country) has taken this opportunity to set aside digital productions and instead venture outside to produce for the first time in their history.

“We felt like our subscribers were not terribly interested in virtual experiences,” said producing artistic director Michael Barnard (he/him). “Even though we were doing a number of them during the course of the summer, nothing was really striking a chord at the same level as live.”

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) has found a surprising amount of hope, despite what could be seen as a recent setback. As The New York Times reported last week, DTC was at the center of an uproar that saw over 2,500 people sign a petition expressing frustrations with Actors Equity Association's reopening plans, guidelines, and purportedly inscrutable decision-making. This came after the plug was unceremoniously pulled on DTC’s production of Tiny Beautiful Things mere days before rehearsals were to begin; the theatre and Equity had reached an impasse on safety protocols, despite a 45-page safety plan from the theatre.”

Just this week, Equity has finally released it’s COVID-19 protocols for re-opening and it is intense!

An abbreviated list of guidelines issued by Actors Equity Association can be found here.

The whole shebang can be found here.

The more you know: Honest Pint has been trying to produce Tiny Beautiful Things for 3 years!

Here’s one more article we loved reading this week. Broadway reopened for 36 minutes last Saturday, to a masked and tested crowd of 150 people seated in theatre with 1,700 seats.

The first small but determined step after 387 days of closure:

April's guest blogger

Friends, we have another guest blogger for you this month.

Many of you know this fierce and determined theatre-maker, Rachel Pottern Nunn. Rachel has been our trusted adviser and helper for a few years now, pitching ideas to us and pitching in whenever possible. She is tireless and full of energy and good will. We love her dearly. She holds BA’s in theatre and English from William Peace University. She has been active in the Triangle area theatre scene since 2015 as a performer, director, designer, and administrator for companies including Bare Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, Honest Pint, Women's Theatre Festival, and more. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Arts Leadership at Virginia Tech. We can’t wait to see how she sets the world on fire once that diploma is in hand! Take it away, Rachel!

Rachel Pottern Nunn (she/her)

I wrote this blog post in my head while mowing the lawn. Repetitive work outside is my favorite way to disconnect and lean into the soft focus, drifting thoughts, and aimless mental wandering where I encounter my creativity and best ideas time and again. I’ve been thinking a lot about artists and self-care. The term “self-care” has become somewhat commodified, but I’m thinking instead about self care as seeking resilience. Artists deal in questions. Questions are hard, though, at a time when the call for immediacy, results, and action threatens to obliterate our relationship with productive uncertainty. This is what I mean when I talk about resilience; how can we be resilient enough as artists to engage in hard questions without jumping too quickly to simplistic answers? This has been the task of artists for time immeasurable, but in the age of social media and the cultural expectation of immediate reactions, it takes more courage than ever to say, authentically, “I don’t know. But I’ll try to find out.” These are big themes. Let me zoom back in. Summer 2015. Bare Theatre was doing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. I was sitting on a rehearsal room floor holding my maimed sister in my lap and crying so hard snot was running into my mouth. My director crouched beside me. She didn’t say anything, but let me choke my way through my lines, her hand just lightly resting on my shoulder--not distracting, but giving me that one point of contact that grounded me, saying hey, this is pretend. You’re safe. In March 2020 I learned that that strength didn’t need to come in the form of a physical hand on my shoulder. I collaborated with the Women’s Theatre Festival on a show that was planned for stage, but quickly pivoted to virtual. Following in-person casting, my co-director and I never worked together in person, and yet there were countless times when she or another of our collaborators laid a virtual hand on my shoulder. Hey. I’m here. You can safely go to these unscripted places because I’ve got your back. I’ve always found resilience as a theatremaker in the partnership of my collaborators. Honest Pint let me come on a very unscripted journey with them in the summer of 2018. My formal training and experience had mostly been in acting, directing, and design, but I was feeling a pull towards arts administration. I came to them and said, hey, I love the work you’re doing. I don’t know much, but I want to learn, and I want to help. Susannah and David said cool, let’s make this up together. Isn’t that what theatremaking is at the end of the day? “Let’s make this up together”? One night I joined Susannah in the back of a dark theatre during a dress rehearsal that had been fraught with complications. “I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” she confided. I said nothing for a moment. We sat in silence. “I bet it will turn out better than you think,” I said finally. Sometimes solutions aren’t necessary. Sometimes what we need as artists is someone to sit in the dark with. My entire approach to theatre work has been shaped by the generosity, patience, and ability to sit with uncertainty that characterizes our local Raleigh-area theatre scene. Time and again I have seen abundance as a guiding value in how we treat each other. Of course we all have our moments; we’re humans. Humans trying to do a very hard, very vulnerable thing with very few resources. But when we’re generous with each other we increase our capacity to ask better questions. Harder questions. Questions that take us to unscripted places. Because we know we don’t have to go there alone. Adrienne Maree Brown, a Black feminist thinker I have been turning to a lot in recent months uses nature metaphors to describe resilience: “oak trees don’t set an intention to listen to each other better, or agree to hold tight to each other when the next storm comes. under the earth always they reach for each other, they grow such that their roots are intertwined & create a system of strength which is as resilient on a sunny day as it is in a hurricane.” Of course I immediately thought of our City of Oaks. Hands on shoulders; roots underground. We can not only withstand hurricanes but lean into them with confidence, because we are not alone. There’s a tree in my front yard where I live now in Blacksburg, Virginia. It would be too poetic if it were an oak--alas, it’s a red maple. I mowed carefully around its roots this afternoon. Our world needs action, now more than ever. The demands--and that word “demand” is intentional and useful--we are called to respond to are important and urgent, both within the theatre industry and without. Racism, inequality, environmental concerns, and more are issues too long unaddressed. But they are not tasks to be neatly checked off a list. To do the good work, the productive and necessarily complex work that 2021 demands of us, we need to commit to the long haul. To the uncertainty. To the unscripted places. And we need all the resilience of our fellow oak trees in the journey ahead.

Rachel’s words hit us right in the heart.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand more than ever that this art form, like everything in life, only succeeds when we have our roots in the ground and our hands on each other’s shoulders. What a beautiful image this is. By supporting each other, we emerge renewed and resilient and more prepared to make this up TOGETHER.

Thank you so much, Rachel for your beautiful words.

Hello Dolly

And we continue our work on the Untitled Kafka Project. Playwright Tamara Kissane continues her writing and edits, and we are so excited about what she is cooking up! We know you will be, too!

Meanwhile, many of you sent us your stories and photos of treasured dolls and toys from your childhoods. We are so thankful! THERE IS STILL TIME AND ROOM FOR MORE!

We want as many as we can get. Maybe your kids currently have a special best friend and they would like to share that with us. Tell us about it! You don’t have to be a writer to write something valuable for this project. Or maybe you just want to send in a photo, that’s ok, too. We will be creating a community component of this project and we want YOU to be a part of it. Please email your writings and photos to:

One last thing before we go: We have relaunched our Patreon page after almost a year of being dormant due to the pandemic. We are now producing this new work (the Kafka Project) and it needs funding. Your monthly gifts allow us to plan for the future and sustain the company. Your dollars go directly to paying artists a stipend and to production costs. There is zero fat on the bones of this company, so trust you are helping people who have been financially impacted severely in the past year and will come together to create a new community-centered piece of theatre. You can access our Patreon page here. If you prefer to give a one-time donation via a credit card, that’d be swell, too. There is a link on our website where you can use PayPal or your credit card. You can go there now by clicking here.

Thank you so much for your continuing support and for keeping the faith in us as we wake up from our long sleep and resurrect the company. We will have changed and grown, and we won’t be the same. But that is exciting to us! The world can be better than it was before if we make it that way.

We cannot wait to become serial huggers and to be in a theatre with you again! Stay safe, stay vigilant. Wear your mask and remain socially distant when in public. And please get that vaccine as soon as you can. It’s SO worth it!


— Susannah and David

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