Have you had a chance to watch the new Star Wars film? It’s a special experience, I think, especially this close to release, when everyone is still unabashedly enthusiastic and it hasn’t hit the “it’s popular so it sucks” stage of pop culture. The theater I was in was filled with fathers and their young children, and watching a man practically my own age geeking out with his five year old really drove the nostalgia home. I’d love nothing more than to do a full Tuesday Thoughts on that Star Wars.
But I won’t, mostly because Ryan nixed my pitch for:
“10 Surprising Similarities Between Artistic Director Julia Katz and Supreme Leader Snoke.”
And besides, that would neglect the OTHER important source of nostalgia this weekend – Critical Point Theatre’s 3rd Semi Annual meeting. This weekend in NYC was our chance to work together from the same zip code, reuniting an ensemble that’s been split across four cities and three time zones for the last half a year. These meetings always bring out the nostalgia for me, and having been primed this week by my ANOTHER prime piece of nostalgia I was feeling particularly reflective.
CPT is moving into its third year now, and the growth we’ve experienced over that time is staggering. I couldn’t help but think back to the earlier days of the ensemble, with its impromptu meet ups at the coffee shop down the block, writing scenes for a play at three AM in a casino bathroom, script read outs in the corner of Waffle House. The faces we’ve lost since then. The faces we’ve gained. Changes in mission, ability, and location (trading southwest Virginia for the biggest city in the world is quite a swap). How would we have reacted back then, if we could see ourselves now (besides disappointment in the lack of rippling six pack abs)?
I’ve never been a parent, but watching Critical Point Theatre develop from those humble beginnings sometimes makes me feel like one. Or at least an absentee uncle who really tries his best to pitch in when Mom and Dad are busy. And of course, as is tradition for first time parents, wishing you’d done a better job, back when your theatre ensemble was younger. If we could go back and re-edit moments, how much more we could have accomplished. I have a lot of moments from CPT history I would love to take another crack at now, with the benefit of age and (debatably) experience. That infamous cabinets incident from the spring of ’14. My first ever production stills for “The Pavilion” (we were real proud of this). Drafting the original bylaws and mission statement for CPT. It seems unfair to ever subject something as helpless as a child to first time parenting, really.
But despite some questionable parenting choices, Critical Point Theatre is still here, and indeed, is developing into something that we can all be proud of. Going back and trying to sand off the rough edges from our memories, leaving only the positive moments, is tempting, oh so tempting. But instead, I’ll just sit quietly with the ensemble and simply be thankful that I can be a part of the moment at all, that we didn’t accidentally kill our theatre baby before it even took its first steps.
And know that sometimes you don’t need to worry about mistakes you might have made, because who knows? People might have liked it that way.
Just ask George Lucas