I lost count at sixty-five.
As I dug through my calendar, ticket receipts, Facebook events and posts, and tweets, I knew I'd miss a few shows here and there that I saw, but didn't record. I'm kicking myself that I hadn't noted each and every show, but in my defense, last year was a whirlwind of activity, and I could I barely keep up.
I was helping to run The Playwrights' Center of San Francisco, including producing two 24-Hour Fests, the developmental reading series, master classes, and co-producing Sheherezade. I was head writing for Collage Cabaret, writing for Sheherezade, writing for SF Olympians, traveled to Ohio as a finalist for my play, The Killing Jar, adjudicating for Theatre Bay Area, sitting on a panel for Play Cafe, trying to launch a playwrights collective, and working a day job.
All of this is to say, I have the best life I could imagine. It's an embarrassment of riches. I'm surrounded by and work within the most supportive theater community in the world, in my opinion. The plays I've seen have ranged in scale, subject matter, and skill, but the one thing that they all had in common was Passion. Perhaps my least favorite show of the year exhibited the most passion of all the players in all the shows and, as tough as the performance was to sit through, I left with a smile. I could feel the dedication by the actors. I could tell they loved what they were doing and had worked hard at their craft. I respected them. I respected the company. And despite a script that would've made a better radio play, I left feeling that the long drive was worth it.
An embarrassment of riches.
I get to see theater. I get to see a lot of it. I get to have coffee and drinks and talk with friends about theater. I get to read about theater in my community (check out SF Theater Pub) and in my Community (HowlRound). I get to pursue a life in theater. And whenever I get worn down by the calendar, I pull back and remember how lucky I am.
That said, the new year is bringing changes. I left the board at PCSF (though I've agreed to produce their monthly classes this year), and I've committed to a more manageable schedule of shows this season. I'm still adjudicating, but I'll be more judicious in how I plan when to see a show and when to say no. What I came to realize was, my life was out of balance. The imbalance affected my writing. I had no time for it.
If last year was about Supporting theater, this year is about Creating theater. I have a few writing projects and new plays in the works (some I can't talk about) which will be my primary focus. As well as planning the next Repro Rights evening of theater for charity and starting a salon where I can suck the brain juice out of some of the smartest people in the Bay Area. (first salon topic will be the book Art and Politics: Psychoanalysis, Ideology, Theatre by Walter A. Davis.)
What's not different about this year: Learning. The journey continues.