Barbara Jwanouskos, thinking, remembering.
My first teacher in playwriting – really, the first teacher that taught me how to write and parse out creative thought – was Naomi Iizuka. Among many things that have stuck with me over time is how she would describe beginnings and endings. She asked us to take notice and reflect on how every ending within our play was also a beginning – and vice versa. I think about this frequently. How the end of one period of life can welcome a new stage and moment, which is exciting.
I’m thinking about this in the context of the news about Theater Pub’s closure. How this space, company, and group of people has given us confidence and joy in making art and exploring its edges together. And I’m thinking about the ways in which an ending of Theater Pub means a beginning of something else. Something new and exciting and that we don’t know anything about yet.
I’ve written before about relishing in the space of the unknown and how in this realm, anything is possible. That it’s all about ideas and trying them out and learning from them. I think this is one of those times again. Where we can allow ourselves the time to ask questions that get to something deeper than probably a lot of us realized we were capable of. The start of those questions resulted in the closure of Theater Pub, but this is just the beginning. This means that artists and thinkers of all types now can go out trying things on their own or with new people, old friends, whomever. It gives us all space to put on stage exactly what we want to see and really make it a project we truly care about. It’s not that we didn’t have that with Theater Pub – quite the opposite, Theater Pub taught us how to do this. How it was possible.
So, I’m looking at this moment and looking beyond the foreground to what’s on the horizon. We may not be able to fully see it yet, but I am confident with the experiences we had from doing things together under this umbrella, we will be making some great art for our communities to share in. Thank you for reading, seeing, and supporting us! There is always more to come though maybe it looks a little different than in the past.
Barbara Jwanouskos is a local writer. For more, check out her blog, The Dynamics of Groove.