Fly that flag

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Basement

Pride: A satisfied sense of attachment towards ones own or another’s choices and actions, or towards a whole group of people. Pride: A product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging. Pride: What I felt as I walked out of The Basement on Wednesday night.

The Legacy Project and Purple Rainbow are just two of the shows living at the theatre this week, and both shows are something for their creators to be proud of. I’m not just talking about the kind of pride that comes from the staging of a relatable script or the accomplishment of actors living believably in an imaginary circumstance. The pride should exist because the shows were just as much about bravery and honesty as they were about performance and production. What these shows represent is at the core of what makes me proud to be a “theatre kid.”

We all laugh about the stereotypes that can be found in the theatre. The Divas and Queens, the overly sensitive writers, and the arrogant directors; we play on the idea that the world has of us as these “freak flag” flying, alt-culture dwelling, attention needing creatures of the lime light…but really there is something special about that stereotyping when I pause to think about it. I am proud to be lumped into all of that because it is generalized reflection of a deeper fact, which is that the theatre is a place of empathy and acceptance. That throughout history the theatre has been a place where people have more freedom to live and love, as they desire. A place where artists take great risks fueled by a deep-seated bravery to bring profound and honest truths to the stage and by doing so often challenge an established and accepted system of thinking; that in the theatre we allow one another to explore and express the whole of humanity and the truths of ourselves.

However, more specifically I am proud of the LGBT artists who were a part of the shows tonight. Their work gave the audience an opportunity to stretch the openness of their hearts and minds. Their risk elevated the audience. And so as I write this blog I am not only proud of, but also grateful for their work.