I wanted to reach out and say an email “hello.” My name is Rowen Haigh and I am a director, deviser, and playwright who is shortly moving to the Chapel Hill area from Baltimore. I don’t know anyone in town, so I’m seeking to make some connections with the area theatre scene. I found your company’s Web site as I was looking at the various theatres and arts organizations in the area, and the work you present resonated very strongly with me. If you would you be up for having coffee at some point in the next few weeks, I’d love to introduce myself in person and get to know a fellow artist who shares a similar sensibility.Hope to meet you soon.Regards,Rowen Haigh
That email did indeed lead to coffee. That coffee led to work on a show. And that work has, in the most vital way, saved my life.
I have been having, for the first time, a crisis of faith regarding my choice to make theatre. I had always been sure that theatre is worthwhile and that live performance is an important form of artistic expression. But, when no one seems interested in funding or going to theatre, and when you can’t seem make a living as a theatre artist, that confidence is easy to lose.
I lost it without quite realizing that it had slipped away. I’ve been sitting scared among the various pieces of my practice, too afraid of failing to pick them up and make something. My skills as a director, deviser, and collaborator are, objectively, at a peak point, but I’ve been too gun shy to use them for months.
Somehow, though, I managed to send that email. I had enough faith left to reach out and to try to orient myself in a new place with people who speak my language. And now I’m back. I’m back in the rehearsal room. I’m back in conversation with other artists. I’m back inside my own creative process and I am so happy to be here.
Thank you to all of the people who say yes.
Thank you to all of the people who make art even though it’s hard.
The life you save may be your own. Or, it may be someone else’s.