Along with a series of posts highlighting the original contributions and community efforts of producers involved in the Festival this year, I had intended to slowly work my way through the Plays for Presidents staff to focus a bit on the individual “why” that drives us to commit our time and energy to this project.
The opportunity to focus on my personal motivation came this week when my daughter brought home a book of poems she had written in class. I had forgotten how her teacher had mentioned the distinctive subject matter Ari had chosen, or how one of her poems stood out so much that all the kindergarten teachers had sort of marveled and laughed over it later that week.
As I read through her packet of poems, many of which focused on our dog Simon (When I wake up/Simon/I see you at my door/I love you/Simon/Good Simon), I realized how much this Festival and the focus of what Andy and I believe 44 Plays… is capable of as a piece of art has become woven into our family life as well.
I’ve written about this a bit before, but I never really thought twice about the Presidents or this country’s political history until being asked to help write 43 Plays… back in 2001. And I don’t think I had a full sense of how the play could become such a powerful vehicle until I really committed to supporting Andy’s idea for this Festival back in 2011.