Maybe I’m a dork for feeling this way, but I always love to hear why people are invested in projects as artists and collaborators. What’s their hook? What’s the draw? What’s the dream? It’s in my nature to be curious about such things, but for the Plays for Presidents Festival 2012, I have an additional motive. As a co-author of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents (and the wife of the play and festival creator, Andy Bayiates), it’s sort of obvious why I might be invested and not really a surprise to know I’m heavily involved.
But we’ve got this amazing team of people who have jumped on board with genuine enthusiasm—and who are sharing their time, talents, and energy in truly significant ways. I’m super interested in their “why,” and I think it’s even more important.
This week, I interviewed the Plays for Presidents Lead Press Director, Sarah R. Rowan, to find out what made her decide to jump into our Festival wagon.
How did you originally get involved or hear about the Festival?
The Festival team was looking for someone to come on board and focus on getting media coverage. Sean Daniels, one of our Festival Co-Chairs, suggested that I may be a good fit for the project. A couple of phone calls later, I officially became a member of campaign staff. I mean, really, how could I say no to a project like this?
What interested you in joining the project?
In fear of sounding trite, I’d like to answer your questions with another question: What didn’t interest me about this project?!
The second I heard about this Festival I knew I wanted to get involved. To begin with, I’ve been invited to join an incredible team of individuals from all over the country to work on a Festival that focuses on a topic that is extremely important and relevant. And it does all of that through the lens of a really smart and funny play.
Secondly, I get to be a part of a venture that is bringing together a wide variety of people from all over the place for one common subject. Whether patron, producer, participant, or even someone reading this blog, this Festival has an extreme reach and lends itself to attracting a diverse range of indivuals. And that, for me, is thrilling.
When you think about what excites you the most – either the coolest thing that could happen or the biggest impact this thing could have – what would it be?
On a very fundamental level, I believe that this Festival will help to spark some really interesting conversations that will, hopefully, help people to 1) quit treating politics like such a taboo subject; 2) excite people about the part that each of us individually play in our country’s history; and 3) get some more people showing up on election day.
Other than that, I think that running into Obama at the concession stand at intermission of one of these shows will be pretty cool. If – and when – that happens.
If you could share one thought/idea with our larger audience, what would you want to say?
Just go to see this show ready to have a BLAST! I can see how someone could see this as a potential to be a boring evening of history lessons/lectures, but it’s far from it. And don’t be turned away from this show for fear of not being knowledgable enough in our presidential history to enjoy it. Maybe you’ll learn something, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll run into Obama at the concession stand at intermission, maybe you won’t; but I think that you will come out of this experience with some new thoughts/questions/jokes/you-name-it about the politics of this country.
Sarah R. Rowan (Plays for Presidents Lead Press Director) currently serves as the Marketing & Sales Manager for Actors Theatre of Louisville where she establishes strategies for single and season ticket sales and leads the marketing department in the successful execution of promotional tactics. She also supports Actors Theatre as a mentor for the Apprentice/Intern Company; a staff advisor for the Generation One Board, a young professionals Board dedicated to building the next generation of theatre subscribers and donors; and aiding in the play selection for the 2012 New Voices Young Playwrights Festival. Presently, she is also assisting with the development of an original puppet theatre piece for Xperimental Puppetry Theatre at the Center for Puppetry Arts, and serving on the Executive Committee for the Louisville Youth Orchestra’s Board of Directors. Sarah is a theatre practitioner who aspires to generate innovative, cross-disciplinary work focused on specific communities. She is dedicated to nurturing future generations of theatre professionals and creating work that engages, educates, and stimulates conversation.