For the last few months or so, I’ve been virtually hanging out with an almost impossibly diverse, geographically dispersed bunch of theater folk I would very much love to tell the world about… so I’m going to do just that.
The first place to start getting to know them is www.2amtheatre.com. It’s a somewhat unassuming blog, from a design perspective, but the simplicity of the presentation belies the complexity of the conversation: playwrights, directors, artistic directors, lighting designers, literary managers, stage managers, and arts marketing gurus, all of them blogging, commenting, questioning, innovating, and above all challenging each other to think more clearly and make theater more thoughtfully. To the extent that a national conversation about innovation in theater can be said to be happening in any one place, this is that place. If someone says something anywhere that’s worth careful analysis, it gets aggregated, talked about, picked apart, and extended by a swarm of smart people within hours.
The next place to visit is the ever-evolving Twitter stream linked by the #2amt hashtag—where at virtually every hour of the day (thanks to an international contingent) there are theater practitioners ready to Tweet with you about the news of the day… or even the moment. The banter is lively and smart—and strewn with a smattering of puns and pictures of cupcakes and fake-polygamist-Twitter-marriage-ceremonies to make anyone feel welcome. (Not sure about that last one? Give it a whirl!)
And welcome they will, indeed, make you feel. I was a complete stranger to the whole crowd when I started tweeting—first with playwright David J. Loehr, whom I like to refer to as the Patron Saint of 2AMt—but it didn’t take long to make friends… and then for those friendships to deepen into a combination of a remote support system and an on-call knowledge base. Many of us have met in person now —I’ve got a group hug set for the next couple of weeks during a trip to New York—and I know it’s only a matter of time before we all start working together: directing and lighting and producing and writing for each other. Offstage, too, there are countless significant projects brewing; I can’t speak about any of them, but if I could, you’d be very excited. (More soon, I promise!)
In any event… we like to say that it’s always 2am somewhere, so wherever you are, whenever you are, join in. We’ll be happy to have you.