Photo participants from left to right, by rows:
Da'Von Moody (actor), Rex Daugherty (director/producer), Cormac Elliot (actor),
Jeremy Keith Hunter (co-playwright), Navid Azeez (designer), John King (co-playwright),
Mekala Sridhar (assistant director/assistant producer), Peter Marks (theatre critic, The Washington Post)
Over the last few years, I’ve become very good at making caramelized onions. And during the pandemic, my onion game has blossomed into something you should be jealous of. It’s exquisite. This is because, over time, I’ve been dedicated to the experiment of making caramelized onions, and now it’s paying off in…I don’t know…what’s the unit of measurement by which you count onions? Bushels? Wheelbarrows? What’s this whole onion segment about? Is this a metaphor?!
Throughout COVID, Solas Nua has been investing in theatre artists, giving them dedicated time to cook up fresh recipes, making and unmaking and remaking new digital plays. We just wrapped up a week of experimental rehearsals with a diverse group of artists, exploring what makes digital theatre actually theatre. I don’t know what the ultimate results will be, but I know there will be rewards. I believe there will be tasty, symbolic theatre onions! I believe there will be theatre with a fresh perspective. And I believe the arts are where we find fresh perspectives. Our trade is in ideas. Our currency is imagination. And we need to feed our collective imagination to overcome the great challenges we face today, not merely in the arts, but in every sector of our lives.
A major lesson I’ve been learning during the coronavirus outbreak is how little we are able to control. We can’t control the virus. We can’t control other people’s reactions to the virus. We can’t even control facts about the virus! But we can experiment with our knowledge, and the testing of our ideas, even the testing of ourselves, produces a better outcome.
I want to say a huge thank you to the artists, board members, and donors who have been involved with Solas Nua during COVID. You have allowed us to cook up new forms of theatre, and true artistry is generated through experimentation. I don’t know yet what will come out of these experiments, but I can say that it feels like something I’ve never seen before. So thank you for supporting, believing, and even being patient with us while we continue to play in the kitchen.
It’s worth the wait. It’s going to be delicious.