From the Director
May 23, 2023
“I am what I am
I am my own special creation….”
- La Cage Aux Folles
Where to begin? How can I, in a few short words, convey to you how strongly I feel about this play and how it has occupied my thoughts daily for the last two years. There were so many points along the journey where it almost didn’t happen. The on again off again aspect of the planning was a consistent anxiety. We had to change theaters and concepts several times, even in the last days before opening. The struggle to find funding was real. The stress from many quarters to “get it right” was ever present. These plays are not only classics but, for many, sacred texts.
It has been a journey.
Like any great venture, I must begin with a heart for of gratitude. No show this large can happen without considerable help. My thanks to Aaron Hurt and Joanna Hodges of Butler University who were so generous with us by offering this beautiful theater to present the tale. Look around you. It’s a stunning venue.
I am eternally grateful to Chris Douglas and the team at CH Douglas and Gray Wealth Management. We needed a patron to pull this off. Chris stepped up and said , “Let’s do it!” We are here because of that generosity.
Everyone in your program played a key role in bringing us here. All of them had a hand in painting the picture before you. They are justifiably proud of their work. They have ownership. Their passion for the project was real and collectively they helped bring the show before you now. Each and everyone of them should be celebrated.
I have to single out John Clair whose steady leadership was a constant guide to me. My oldest friends Andy and Melody Burnett returned to help erect the set you now see and were a constant source of encouragement. And JB Scoble, who , almost single-handedly, saved the show when it was under real threat. I am so thankful. I have the privilege to call them my friends.
There is no question that Angels in America is an unashamedly a queer play. The issues of discrimination, the AIDS epidemic, and the stigma associated with homosexuality loom large in the story and are confronted head on. But the brilliance of the saga is that it reaches beyond this group to question the very social fabric of our society. Through the lives of these rich characters we see the state of American politics, religion, values, morality, and the culture of hate. In doing so, despite being 30 years old, the plays are startlingly relevant today.
This is the purpose of art. Art in all its forms is the best way we can see our ourselves collectively. Art teaches us to see life from different perspectives and in doing so lead to greater understanding of each other. It fosters communication and community.
Whether it is from this 20,000 year old cave painting to the great play you now are seeing, art is the thread that binds us together. Art should be encouraged, cherished, and protected.
It shows us what it means to be human.
So, in that spirit, we present to you this great tale. These wonderful actors have worked for weeks to be here tonight. Their only reward is the opprtunity to share the story with you and hope you are moved in a deep and profound way. They will take you on a journey and, in the end, like all great travels, you will changed. You will see the world a little differently and open your heart to the idea that love, in all its forms, makes our world more beautiful.
Isn’t that a desirable thing?
I think so.
I am honored you are here tonight.
- Glenn Dobbs.