From the Desk of Terrence McNally
The proudest moment of my career as a playwright happened in Philadelphia when the mother of two grown children, a son and a daughter, waited at the stage door to tell me that a play of mine had caused her to reconcile with the same children she had asked to leave her house when they told her they were gay. And then she introduced me to them. We laughed, we hugged, we cried. It doesn’t get any better than that.
It truly is why we playwrights, composers and lyricists do it.
I think most of us want to matter. We want our lives to have brought about change. We want to be remembered for what we did.
Dramatists Guild members do this by writing plays, music and lyrics that want to decipher the tiny million heartbeats that define us as individuals, comfort the many heartaches our flesh is heir to and ultimately discover the humanity we share with our most distant neighbor.
Think about it. This would be a lonelier planet without its playwrights, composers and lyricists. Like Blanche DuBois, we have all depended on the kindness of strangers or like Emile de Becque remembered an enchanted evening.
The theatre does this better than anyone. When a show works, all pistons firing, an audience of individuals begins to breathe as one. When it happens, I never feel more connected to the world I live.
Theatre connects us. And that’s why playwrights, composers and lyricists do it. To make that connection. To heal. To matter.
And now we need your help. I am fortunate to have a career well into its 6th decade. Some of my sisters and brothers who write for the theatre are not so lucky. The Dramatists Guild Fund is here to help them through the rough spots and there can be many along their way. Rent past due, a medical situation, a financial obligation. The Fund helps the deserving needy before they run out of hope. The Fund matters.
Without the next generation of theatre writers, we will be denied new voices, fresh dreams, another generation’s humanity. More is at stake here than any of us who are cosseted from financial insecurity can properly imagine.
Here’s another chance you have to matter. Please be generous.
– Terrence McNally
(It’s Only A Play; Ragtime; Love! Valour! Compassion!)