Editor’s note: Atlanta’s artists face uncertainty in the age of coronavirus. To help us all connect, we’re offering this series. In each “In Our Own Words” post, an artist will share their experience, strength and hope as we all navigate a new normal.
The news that Broadway theaters would go dark really shook me. Then large and beloved regional theaters discontinued the rest of their 2019–20 seasons. Many close friends in every facet of the industry instantly lost work, and the sad news of shutdowns continued. One wound seemed to come right after another, though I understood it was the only choice to make. It was nothing short of surreal.
I had just begun my freelance life [after eight seasons at Theatrical Outfit]. Before having to isolate, I luckily fit in three weeks worth of meetings with local peers and arts leaders to chat about my new goals and collaborations. Just in the nick of time, I finished casting Marie and Rosetta for True Colors Theatre Company, and I’ll always be grateful we got that show — still coming this summer, hopefully — completed.
I’m reading tons (particularly LGBTQIA young adult fiction, which is remarkable to me, never having had any such thing growing up), relearning Italian on a language app, exploring baking, playing board games and doing jigsaws with my husband, over-snuggling my schnauzers, exercising, decorating our nursery for our yet-to-be-adopted son and making face masks from kitchen towels. I’m building and branding Clifton Guterman Casting and reconnecting with national directors and producers.
I hope the public appreciates how much we’ve all turned to entertainment and artists (albeit on our TVs, smartphones and computers) for stories, laughs, drama and comfort. I hope people have missed being together for the collective experience of live theater and moviegoing and want to go back full force when it’s safe. I hope nonprofits can think up new models and diversify old ones to fortify themselves for future emergencies. As a global family going forward, I hope we can find ways to value and respect all creative folks a little more and not just during a quarantine when they appear so easily “on demand” to soothe us.
In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community during this unprecedented time.