Here’s a thing I learned today! The verb “emerge” comes from the Latin emergere, from the roots “ex-,” meaning “out” and “mergere,” meaning “to dip or sink,” so the verb “emerge” creates an image of something coming up out of liquid. Snazzy.
This is relevant because next week I get to emerge onto Seattle stages as a writer, as part of the Intiman Emerging Artists Showcase — August 4-6 at the Center House in the Armory, 7:30 PM each night. (Admission is free! Just RSVP here.)
I had this moment a few weeks ago where my roommate mentioned that she was inviting her mom to this showcase next week, “because she’s never seen any of your writing.”
“Well, nobody has seen any of my writing,” I pointed out. Not in Seattle, anyway, and not this kind of writing; there’s a few dozen people spread across the country who saw Bad Hamlet, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and that’s about it. Admittedly, there’s a large group of people who’ve read “not a pretty girl” and some other posts on this blog, but that’s a very different kind of writing than playwrighting.
Back in — what, March? April? A couple months ago I don’t even know time has no relevance or meaning — I was handed a director and a list of actors, complete with headshots, and a prompt: write a play inspired by the life and work of Lillian Hellman that would showcase my talents and the talents of these other artists.
Oh my god it was terrifying. (I have a blog post in the pipeline elsewhere that goes into this more, but for now let’s just leave it at “this was terrifying but in a good way.” Insert metaphors about rollercoasters and skydiving here.) But exhilarating, too: having deadlines and guidelines makes me way more productive, because I have to stop worrying about whether something is perfect and just frigging put stuff on paper to be made better later. And being forced to produce this time got me to a kind of writer’s high a few times — points where I broke through to something really raw and really good.
Now, a script can be good, but it’s the director and actors that bring it to life and make it truly great. And — look, I can’t even tell you how incredible the team I’m working with is. The energy and intelligence and creativity in the room every time we come together to work is like being back in college, where I found new families and made new discoveries and had permission to make mistakes and get messy.
But honestly, I really can’t tell you how great the team is: you’re going to have to come see it. Such is live theatre. The magic happens in the room when we’re together, artists and audience alike.
So if you’re in Seattle — and especially if you want to see the people who are going to be creating theatre here and elsewhere in the future — come see us all emerge. It’s gonna be magic.