LIT had its second annual members meeting on Saturday and here's what I had to say:
The Bodhidharma says “All know the way; few actually walk it.”
For years, ever since I’ve been in this city, I’ve known that the only people who really care about the Off-Off independent theater world are the people who know it and work in it. And I’ve known, and I think we all know, that the only way we’re ever going to improve the conditions we all work in is to band together, to work together and unite the thousands of hard-working, innovative, creative artists and producers and the hundreds of dedicated, resilient, obstinate companies and collectives into the undeniable creative and economic force that they are in this city.
But only when we are united.
Otherwise, we just all tumble forward through the years as we’ve done for years, some individual success here, another venue closed over there, another art star anointed from above there, but no real progress; all of us just grimly toiling forward on our separate but equal paths, not really sure where we’re going, just glad to have the energy to take the next step.
And so the dream of the League of Independent Theater, dedicated to organize and protect our members to ensure that independent theater is economically viable for all of its practitioners, to advocate on behalf of the decades-old tradition of Off-Off Broadway theater and ensure that it remains, and grows, as a thriving artistic and economic sector in New York City.
You’ll hear from the Committee reports some of the specifics of the League’s efforts and accomplishments this year, but I just want to stay on the big picture for a moment and tell you how satisfying it’s been and how proud I’ve been to finally be walking towards something with all of you. I wish we were sprinting and I wish the path wasn’t quite so uphill, but we are walking towards solutions together and most importantly, we are walking together.
It’s the old Margaret Mead quote, “never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, because indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” I don’t know if we can change the world, but I know we can change the way independent theater is practiced, created, supported and recognized in this city. And I know the way we can do it and that’s by continuing to walk and work together.
I want to thank the Board and all of the Committee heads for their work this year, recognizing that they all have their creative careers and day jobs and families and lives to juggle already and of course Jennifer Conley Darling and Paul Bargetto for their work and time and passion. You all have been wonderful traveling companions along this road and I look forward to many more miles ahead with all of you.
Our MMMQ is an essay question, Ann. In 50 words or less, have you ever been experienced?