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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Voices of BTM XV: Terrence Kidd

Terrence Kidd
Regular readers of this blog know The Boston Theater Marathon is the greatest day of theater this town has. My first time in “The Marathon” my parents, who save The Phantom and The Lion King are not theater-goers, came from out of town. It was a great weekend, and not just because it was the first time they saw something I wrote produced. The day was made greater because once we got to the Calderwood they didn’t want to leave. My Dad said, “ Let’s stay for one more. Want to?” And Dad is the kind of guy who (endearingly) acts like he never wants to do anything. My mother – a self-professed part-time misanthrope (like her son) said she found something to identify with in every play we saw – and we stayed for seven hours!

That’s a lot of identifying.

Now let’s say you are not a regular reader of this blog. Or theater isn’t your particular cup of bourbon. Yet you’ve surfed the web to this blog post. Let’s further say you end up considering going to The Marathon. Because you are now intrigued enough that you want to see how you too might identify.

Because identifying is what seeing theater is about. It isn’t a movie, or a YouTube you watch on your phone, while driving. It’s a living thing, better than 3-D, that you experience with people you don’t know. In this darkened space, a unique thing can happen; the creation of a power that can only come alive when collective attention is being paid to the drama that is happening right in front of you. A connection is made. And it’s true you don’t know these people. Not the people sitting three rows behind you. Not the people up on the stage. But, like my mother, somehow, you do know these people. You feel as if you actually do. And like my Dad you want to stay for one more play. And one more play, and one more play…because each of us want to connect. We want to identify.

As for me, I’ll have friends and colleagues who’ll read this blog post, people who do not know me as a playwright, necessarily. Some of them may know I’m a “writer.” Many may not know to what extent, not having seen the handful of plays I’ve had produced around town. They don’t know that I have a master’s degree under somewhat preposterous circumstances (I have an MFA, but not a high school diploma). That, despite this, I’ve written plays that have gotten me invited into rooms where I got to talk with Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights about our craft. They may not know that I’m published. They may not know every morning I wake up and write. They may not know any of this because my writing life doesn’t often fit into the context of the rest of my life.

But on this one day, at The Marathon, whether we know each other well – or not so well, or not at all – everyone is invited to share in the playwriting life that I have chosen. And I hope you enjoy my play – and everybody’s play. I hope the plays do come alive before your eyes. I hope we’ll all be riding a communal wave of emotion that reflects who we are right back to each other. We’ll connect. And we’ll identify.

That’s a great day.

--Terrence Kidd

We hope you’ll join us on Sunday, May 12 for Boston Theater Marathon XV (and for The Warm-Up Laps on May 11!). Click here for tickets and event details. See you there!

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