There is no golden palace.

Author's Note: I don't use this blog to talk about theatre (although I should) and this post doesn't focus on women in the theatre specifically, but it's my blog, and this is important enough to me to write about. 

The lucky thing about living in New York is the amount of amazing performances that can be seen on stage, not just on Broadway, but off-Broadway and even off off-Broadway, in experimental or lab theaters. Now. Here. This., which is currently having a developmental lab production at the Vineyard Theatre, is a prime example.

The production was written by Susan Blackwell and Hunter Bell and involves the rest of the [title of show] gang, Jeff Bowen and Heidi Blickenstaff. And if you don’t know what [title of show] is, Wikipedia that shit.

Now. Here. This. is still in the process of being developed and the performances at the Vineyard are part of the process, allowing rewriting and tweaking to occur. Most of the show is off-book, but there are parts that are not--which did not detract from the performances.

The premise of the show is about living in the intersection of…well, Susan Blackwell can say it in a more concise way: “There was this monk, Thomas Merton, who said that if you can get to the intersection of Now: this moment in time; Here: exactly where you are; This: exactly what you’re doing—if you can get to the intersection of those three things, then there’s nothing to fear and you can really appreciate your life.”

The “theatri-concert” is comprised of stories from each of the cast members, as well as mutual embarrassing stories (“hot moments”), stories about trying to fit in, and stories about conquering fears. And the stories do not mean listening to monologues for 90 minutes, but are often told through song.

To me, theatre and the theatre community is about acceptance. NHT certainly touches upon how all of the characters (and really, the actors are playing themselves much like they did in [tos]) struggle with acceptance: acceptance from their family, their peers, and ultimately, acceptance of themselves.

NHT is also about—much like [tos] was—conquering fear and allowing yourself to pursue what you really love. Slaying vampires. Realizing that you don’t need Gloria Vanderbilt jeans or an Izod polo shirt to fit in or be who you think you should be. You don’t need a golden palace to create great works. All of those ideas tie together in a way: you have to accept yourself for who you are in order to conquer your fears and create what you want to create or to do what you love.

It sounds simple when it’s written down, but it is easy to forget. There are always concerns and worries and your mind’s own vampires standing in the way of the Now. Here. This.