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Early in my TYA career, I heard a veteran artistic director address their board. “It’s so hard!,” was the first thing they said when they addressed the group. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. Here was someone I incredibly admired, who ran a huge million-dollar theatre company. “How could it be so hard?,” I thought.

Flash forward years later. Little did I know. I would run my own million-dollar theatre. And who would have thought there would be a pandemic and the aftermath to navigate? 

Now I understand. As a theatre artist and administrator, I can say for myself, “It’s so hard!”

Yet while it’s been hard, it’s also been so many other positive things as well. The brilliant composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim was a master at showing the complexity of various situations. Little Red Riding Hood sings about being “excited AND scared” in INTO THE WOODS. The husbands in COMPANY share about being “sorry, grateful” as well as being “regretful, happy.”

As we come to the end of another year, I feel like I could write my own song lyrics in the style of Mr. Sondheim. It’s been hard, but it’s also been a time of growth… enlightening … educational … inspirational. The list goes on and on.

I would love to know how you would fill in the blank for yourself:

It’s been hard, but it’s been _______________________.

As we bid adieu to 2022, I hope that we can take our challenges and our triumphs and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished. Afterall, in the words of Mr. Sondheim, “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”

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