Since president elect Donald Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015, I’ve been inspired to think a great deal about the human impulse to demonize, to view and depict someone as “other”.
As a theater artist at the end of a contentious election season, a possibility opens up – to think about functions of the theater, and about the possibilities of human discourse and interaction in relationship to the theater; to consider the potentials of humanity that the theater might nurture.
For me, as a concerned citizen, and the Artistic Director of the Stella Adler Studio, it’s impossible not to think about our mission. Our mission, based on the insight that growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous, is to create an environment that nurtures theater artists and audiences so that they value humanity, their own and others, as their first priority, while bringing art and education to the community. Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy the part of the mission that speaks most vividly to me is “their own and others.” In that simple phrase I hear and engage a prayer, perhaps the primordial prayer of all theater artists: how can I/we help; how can I/we serve? May this play be a bridge, may we embrace the other.
As members of the Stella Adler Studio community, as members of the theater community, as members of the family of women, of men, let us dedicate ourselves to nurturing humanity, our own and others, with ever renewed passion.