This weekend at the Seattle Center for the 14/48 The World’s Quickest Theater Festival if you are backstage you will hear the battle cry “Go Big or Go Home!”. The chant fills the air and buoys the exhausted ensemble to do what they are meant to be doing in this world. Create.
When asked if I ever wanted children I am very quick to answer “No!”. I love children, I do. I babysat from the time I was 9, worked in a day care, taught them. I first believed my absolute lack of maternal yearning was due to my wish to become independent in the way of Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But as I grew into theater I became aware that my need to create was being satisfied. I give birth over and over again.
Sometimes it is a hard labor—months upon months. Sometimes it’s a miscarriage. Sometimes I didn’t even know I was pregnant and BOOM! there it is. And sometimes it’s a perfect pregnancy, full term, fuzzy pink with all the right number of fingers and toes. I have dozens upon dozens of children. Some whose names I can’t remember, others I have pictures of hanging in my living room. I do have my favorites, as every mother does.
But I digress. I started writing this post to shout out my love of The 14/48 Projects and what they do. I worked with the most incredible ensemble for 10 years—Kings’ Elephant Theatre. I always thought my best work was behind me. But then 14/48 came along and I’ve been playing with them for oh, 10 years at least. I’m not especially close to anyone there, I don’t know half of the people and can’t remember names or plays I’ve worked on. But none of that matters. What matters is my love for theater is reborn each time I do it. I learn something new about myself as an artist. I push myself beyond what I thought my limits were. I fall in love all over again. I create. I give birth.
So, if you have never experienced 14/48. Go. Watch the children at play.