Passage’s Blog Introduction

Hello, and welcome to the Passage Theatre blog! Twice a month, Passage artists will be checking in here to share their thoughts on our upcoming projects and shows, and to give readers a sneak peek into our process. Sometimes, the blog will be written by me (your friendly neighborhood Artistic Director), and sometimes it will be written by a playwright, actor, director, or someone else from the Passage staff.

So, off we go! What is happening in the world of Passage today? I would be remiss if I did not mention all that has happened this summer with regards to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement. So much change has happened and yet, we still have so far to go. Being an artist right now is scary, and exciting, and challenging, and…well…a bit confusing to be honest. There’s so much to say, and also so much to listen to. This summer has required a lot of soul-searching; a lot of sleepless nights and unanswered questions. At the end of it all, I find myself returning to this mantra: Ryanne, just do the work. Do it with all of the honesty you can muster. Lean into it. Welcome the curiosity, the mistakes, and the unknown. That’s where the good stuff comes from, after all…

Besides, right now is actually quite an exciting time. As we prepare to formally announce our 2020-21 season, we are busy sending out contracts to all of our artists and freelancers so that they can begin their work. The Passage staff itself only consists of three full-time members, one part-time member, and three members who work as consultants for roughly 15-20 hours per week. That means that everyone else who works here (directors, actors, show designers, stage managers, technicians, teaching artists, graphic designers, etc.) need to get contracted for each project, each season! That’s a lot of paperwork and emails getting passed back and forth! Luckily, we are almost finished getting everyone on the books, and we will soon be able to dig in and CREATE!

Along with wrapping up contracts, we are also meeting regularly with our Board in order to plan for the season, update policies and procedures, and do lots of committee work. Passage currently has 14 members on our Board, but we are hoping to grow that number by a few more members this year.

Outside of contracts and Board work, the things I am most excited about right now are our new online, educational programs and the two shows that we are developing through our new play incubator, known as PlayLab. One of the PlayLab shows, THE OK TRENTON PROJECT, has an online workshop in two weeks that I desperately need to prepare for! It will be the first time that the ensemble gets to read through a version of the script! We’ve been working on the show for two years now, and it’s starting to really take shape. After all this time off from live theatre, I can’t wait to jump into the creative process again. Speaking of new scripts, we are also about to get a new draft of a new musical we are developing entitled GROUP! Passage has not produced a musical for years, so I am both excited and nervous to see how the show unfolds.

As for the online education programs, I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too much. I will say that I have been collecting recyclables on the side table of my dining room for the past few weeks. I put them in boxes and shipped them off to our teaching artists today! I think my husband was a little bit relieved to see them all go. 🙂  

Well, it’s time to sign off for now. My next post promises to be much more detailed, as by that time we will have ANNOUNCED OUR SEASON!!! So much more to come, my friends! Until then, please stay healthy, stay safe, and be kind to each other.

With warmth and gratitude always, 

Ryanne