photo: Ian W. Hill
On Tuesday night after the show, the cast, crew and guests watched the returns on a big screen in the theatre. Although I had a good feeling that we as Americans would do the right thing, I was nervous. It was a wonderful gathering, catered by Gyda Arber's parents, thank you!, and I felt so blessed to be with friends. I thought, tonight we either dance in the streets or...I didn't know what I would do otherwise.
When the results were announced, it was a moment of pure joy and possibility. We spilled into the streets and strangers were hugging, high-fiving and waving to honking cars and trucks. We yelled and cheered, O-bam-a! O-bam-a! and Yes We Can! I felt proud to be an American.
Which made me think. It felt good to chant and be part of a group. It felt good to have "pride". It's not something I've ever felt right about when I've seen it at rallies or even sports events. I always felt that chants of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" or whatever were expressions of hostility against others outside the group and it gave me the creeps. It made me think about the potential for violence and fascism in identifying with ideas and myths.
But in doing it, I felt only positive for myself, my family, friends and my country. I know that our collective happiness came from relief that an eight year (!) nightmare will soon be over, but how quickly did we all start yelling the same thing from a feeling of total conviction in our beliefs and faith in one leader?
I am thrilled still and have faith, hope and optimism for the future. I do believe this is a turning point for our country and that the right realizes we will no longer be swayed by fear. I guess that in doing this show with its themes and experiencing "group victory" for the first time, it made me think about how identification with something larger than oneself may be part of human nature and can be used for good or evil, but it always seems to come from a place of positivism first. Nobody comes to power, dictator or messiah, by making people feel bad about themselves.
"Lord Oxford" got a very thoughtful and positive review from Ms. Amelia Granger of the Greenpoint Gazette. Thank you! We had a fabulous and responsive audience last night and I so look forward to the rest of the run.