It is a brave new blog that has such writing on it
In the opening post of the NMT Green Room, Kait Kerrigan wrote about how NMT’s mission – and now the blog’s – is to be our own little “room of requirement” as we find new ways to create and celebrate our community. As the blog’s editor, I agree that there’s no better way to frame our goals. And in their own ways, many of the blog posts since Kait’s have had something to do with that community. In the history and process behind “The Twitter Song,” for example, Gaby Alter shows us how insight from many different collaborators in many different roles is required to make a song work. Georgia Stitt shows us how actors and writers can learn from one another – finding a way to bridge areas of the community that might otherwise seem separate. Drew Gasparini reminds us to support one another (because after all, you never know who might be listening). And so on, and so on.
But there’s a whole other side to this particular coin. To put it another way – since we’re theatre people here, after all – how do we put the blog on its feet?
Amazingly, the fullest fruition of that mission kind of already happened before this blog began. In early September, director Lear deBessonet and a cast of 200 staged The Tempest, the inaugural production of The Public Theater’s Public Works initiative. Formed to further Joe Papp’s vision that theatre should be for all, Public Works literalizes what it means to put the community onstage: beyond its sheer size, what made this cast remarkable is that exactly 6 of its members had Broadway or off-Broadway credits. The other 194+ performers came from a number of different groups across the 5 boroughs of NYC – from DreamYard, an arts education organization in the Bronx, to the NYC Taxi Workers Alliance and so many more.
But as much as I totally could spend this whole post gushing about The Tempest, I’m not here to do so. Instead, I’m here to ask what we can learn from Public Works. I’m here to indulge my love of all things meta: this is still, at heart, a blog post about blogging.
NMT is hardly about to mount our own 200-person production of any #NMTwriter’s show (though how awesome would that be?!). But that doesn’t mean we can’t let The Tempest‘s goals drive us, too. It doesn’t mean we have to stop looking for ways to expand and strengthen our community. I’ve loved getting to read all of the different perspectives that we’ve published on the blog so far about what that community means and how it works. But this blog is also about putting those perspectives on their feet.
Here are some of the ways we’re already showcasing community voices on our e-stage:
- In #NMTvotw, we’re featuring a reader-submitted #NMTvideo every week. The only requirement to be considered is that you are performing a song from NMT. That’s all! It can be a video from your recital or a video of you in your room singing a cappella or anything in between. You provide the performance, we provide the spotlight.
- With Ask a Writer, you can submit your questions to be answered by one or many #NMTwriters. We’ll publish those answers on the blog. By submitting your question, you can launch a much bigger conversation that everyone, from #NMTWriters to theatre students to performers to audience members, can have together.
We’re cooking up even more ways to continue to celebrate all of the different voices that make up NMT. And as we’re doing that, we truly want to hear what you have to say (or sing). If you’re hanging out in our Green Room, tell us what you want to see and do here. We’re listening.
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