Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how a theater/theatrical experience brought my life full circle. After that, I thought my Vineyard Theatre karma was pretty much complete. I mean, what could be beyond the 360 degrees of a full circle life? Well, for me, it’s this.
A few years ago, I wrote a piece about a Broadway show that was doing some really cool and innovative things with social media. Last year, I wrote a little piece about the lab production of that creative team’s next show. Then, a few months ago, I got a call from that team of super smart & creative nerds asking me if I would be interested in working with them on the full, Off-Broadway version of that lab production, Now. Here. This., which would premiere at the Vineyard Theatre. And now, we are all sitting in a room together writing, and talking, and eating raw almonds, and structuring the show until we are exhausted and cross-eyed and no one remembers what day of the week/weekend it is anymore. And I could not be happier.
I wish I could tell you everything that is in my heart about the experience I’m having working with this group of people on this musical, but the truth is, it’s all wrapped up in the joy, love, humor, brains, and courage that will live up on stage (as embodied by creators/performers Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff, and under the direction/choreography of the most excellent Michael Berresse). This creative team has shaped stories and crafted a narrative that moves the walls of theatrical storytelling. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The show is a beautiful hybrid of musical theater, presentational storytelling, autobifictionography, and literary journalism — with some flashbacks thrown in for good measure.
Now. Here. This. is about the moments in our lives: the good, the funny, the ugly, the beautiful, and the bad ones. I am incredibly proud of what the show says and of the creative team saying it all. Being a part of it has changed the way I think about my life and how I approach my own storytelling. My hope is that this musical will (in some small way) make us more aware of what surrounds us.
What’s beyond 360 degrees is a moment that is at its heart the same, but the shape shifts slightly with each circling back. The subject gets older, the walls push out further, the role becomes more active. But the love and passion for creativity remains just as strong as it was when that 14-year-old girl sat in the Vineyard Theatre, and watched a show come together for the very first time.
Previews of Now. Here. This. begin March 7 (and our box office opens TOMORROW, 2/1!) The show runs till April 15th at the Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th St bet Union Square East & Irving Place New York, NY)