By Christine Toy Johnson
In the days and weeks following the unspeakable tragedy of September 11, 2001, it has been impossible to know what to do or what to think. We have rallied together to comfort one another, in an effort to try to understand why our world has had to change, why life as weve known it has had to all too literally come crashing down around us. The depths of our sorrow know no bounds. Here in NYC, we hold candlelight vigils to honor the victims, we gather at fire stations to honor our heroes, we write messages in Union Square to try to communicate with the families we feel a part of, who are grieving. We congregate in prayer in Yankee Stadium; people of every race, creed and religion, in a collective cry, shouting to the world, We shall overcome! United we stand! God Bless America!
And across this beautiful country, where it has never been clearer how sacred our right to be free is, men and women in our industry are contributing to our healing, by getting on our stages, making the shows run smoothly, and bringing humanity to light again. Though performing has seemed, at times, to bear impossibly less weight than the worries of the world, our audiences are grateful for the respite and for the affirmation that art, beauty and the human spirit are indomitable. As actors, we are reminded that we are indeed at times ambassadors of cheer. And once again, the theatre community has pulled together to donate time, money, even tickets -- to benefit others who are less fortunate.
Thank you for your part in this. The world has never been in more need of entertainment. The love you pour into your work carries over the footlights as a reminder that throughout history, theatre has served to enlighten, educate and uplift, to heal, to transport, and to unite. We shall overcome.