There’s a line in the play Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury when Girlfriend says, “I think art is important. Like really, I do. But maybe I only think it’s important because it’s the thing that I come closest to knowing how to do.” Each time I hear that line it resonates with me. Most of my days, I’m sewing or cutting or making something; I’m fitting someone or in the theater talking about a character or a play. I can escape to these places, I can be very, very busy in these places… I know what I’m doing.
But then when I stop, there’s the world swirling around me. And sometimes I don’t know what to do! Or how to do it?
While working on the costumes for the CompanyOne production of Really in Boston, I took a day off to attend the Women’s Rally with my 14-year old daughter. She in her Ruth Bader Ginsburg t-shirt and both of us in our pink pussy hats took to the streets of Boston. How do you explain to your child that the bully who had said some terrible things about Mexicans, Muslims, the handicapped, women, even the cast of Hamilton (godammit!) was our new President?! My only answer was to do something… on that day, march. Last month while I was at the Lyric Stage putting the final touches on the costumes for Stage Kiss, she marched again, this time at the Science Rally with her dad.
But I still keep asking what more can we do? What should we be doing? And I keep returning to the quiet of my sewing room where I sit now. And I really hope maybe as a country we’ll find a way through the swirling political rift that engulfs us much like theater artists find their way– by listening and creating and making and sharing and collaborating. But maybe I only think this because it’s the only thing I can think to do right now.