I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings and endings recently. As many of you know I am about to leave my position here at Tiny Dynamite as producing artistic director. It has been a 6 year journey. I started the company in 2011 on a whim. A response to a challenge laid out by The Knight Foundation to come up with innovative ideas for the Arts here in Philadelphia. ‘A Play, a Pie, and a Pint’ felt like a good fit, something brilliantly casual that would not only offer local audiences something new, but would also give back to the theatre community around us.
In TD’s earliest days I remember digging though trash cans for discarded Pepsi bottles and their golden yellow caps. The codes on the tops gave points that, when accumulated, would hopefully win us a grant. Which they did. I also remember making a kickstarter campaign (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynGNQp4gdrw) and having to feature my kids in it because I couldn’t find childcare. Hand packing tiny packets of miniature British chocolates for our opening night PPP audiences, reading 100’s of scripts, raising more money, delivering pizzas, serving them, taking out the trash, producing 8 shows in 6 months in that first year, and when the last show of that first year closed, drinking anything alcoholic I could find.
The success of PPP in the last 6 years has been unexpected and gratifying. We have produced over 20 productions, from world premieres (Emmas Goidel’s We Can All Agree to Pretend That This Never Happened), to a trio of works from acclaimed Scottish Playwright David Grieg that were produced in venues as eclectic as a church chapel, and a now defunct cabaret space. We have garnered awards, sell out houses, and critical praise. It has been an incredible ride and I could not be more proud of the work we have done, or the artists I have had the joy to work with. I am thrilled that Kathryn MacMillan will now take the helm as she brings a new season of PPP to you in the 2017/2018 season. She is a wonderful director and Art maker and I welcome her vision and passion as the project continues to grow and thrive.
I am proud to be ending my tenure here at Tiny Dynamite by producing and performing in Perfect Blue, continuing in my mission to push the boundaries of both how theatre is made, and how it is experienced by audiences. Proud to be ending this 6 year journey with a show that is a response to our changing lifestyles, and the technology around us that defines our social interactions with each other. Work that I hope to do much more of in the coming years.
Of course, as with all endings there are moments of melancholy and uncertainty, but as my character Carys says in Perfect Blue, “There has to be change. Metamorposis. A split through the chrysalis. A rebirth. A re-imagining.”
I’m looking forward to the new chapter ahead and re-imagining my role in this dynamite theatre community. So perhaps this is not an ending after all, instead a new beginning.