On Monday, December 17, Matthew A. Anderson, the actor playing Horton in Seussical, wrote a heartfelt letter to the cast and crew of the production. Matt wrote this letter in response to the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, describing how the arts can be a source of love and support during a difficult time. This letter also illustrates not only the bond between the actors in a production, but how the actors bond with the audience. Imagination Stage is delighted to have such wonderful people performing on our stage this holiday season and is also proud to have such amazing and supportive audiences, both kids and adults, for all of our productions.
Hi Friends -
I know it's Monday and we are supposed to be free of each other, but I can't shut off my mind today, and I wanted to send a note out.
I just wanted to take a few minutes and celebrate how our little production of Seussical fits into this mad world of ours. In the past two weeks, it seems like we have had our share of emotional experiences while performing this show....from the incredible experience of the sensory-friendly performance a week ago to an emotional weekend of performances this past weekend as we all reflected somewhere in our minds on the unfathomable tragic loss of 26 people (including 20 sweet children) in Connecticut last Friday. It seems at different turns in our show, the words and ideas of Dr. Seuss, written years ago, are applicable now more than ever before.
What I noticed through it all, especially this weekend, is the LOVE that each of you bring to what you do...both on stage and off. It started with Janet, George, and Karma in rehearsals, conveying a real sense of love and respect to each of us and the material itself...and that has transferred into what our show is bringing to people each and every day. (Except Mondays, naturally.) What their example has brought to us as a cast and crew is a sense of love and respect for each other, and that shows in the work we are doing.
Even on a weekend when everyone seemed to be falling apart physically or vocally, and when hearts and minds were turned to a national tragedy that was hard to wrap our minds around, I watched each of you share the love you have for this show with those sweet little faces that came to see us. And I saw it in turn with each of you who took part in “Meet the Audience” after the shows. And then I remembered back to last week with the sensory-friendly performance and realized I saw and felt the same thing then. Even more than that, when those situations got the best of me emotionally, especially during “Alone in the Universe” last week and “Solla Sollew” this weekend, I could FEEL that love that you all shared with the audience being shared with me. And that is the greatest gift a member of an ensemble can receive, I think.
I have reflected a lot on all of this the past couple of days...and I don't know how to explain it, and I don't know why it happens sometimes every so often with different shows, but what I know is that we are blessed to be in a situation like we are. I think the best thing we can do in our little corner of the world is spend the next three weeks sharing as much of the love we feel for each other and this show with the audiences who will come to see us...even when we're tired, or sore, or falling apart. The payoff is the sense of unity we share as a cast and crew in this show and into our lives beyond it. The payoff is the faces of the children who shyly and sometimes not so shyly come up to meet us, smile at us, hug us, and get pictures with us. The payoff is the parents who oft times have smiles and tears in their eyes as they thank us for what we've done.
And what have we done really? We've spent 90 full-throttle minutes with a group of people we love and respect, singing and dancing and telling a story about dreaming great dreams, acceptance, the power of friendship, and the importance of community. And we get to do it all - this thing that we love - with those who have chosen to spend a day with us in the audience. How blessed we are indeed.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for bringing what you do to this experience. What a gift Seussical has turned out to be!
May we continue to share this love and may we find new ways to share it into the new year!
And may we all enjoy sleeping in on Wednesday. But not TOO late.
With deepest love and respect -