Artistic Statement

A Message from the Artistic Director

Since founding Theater Wit in 2004, we've built an organization based on laughter, empathy and relevance, and we've done it with an innovative approach toward artistic and organizational processes that I'm very proud of.

Theater Wit’s values perfectly capture the particular relationship I want to forge with our audience. We ask them to unlock their compassion through laughter; to maintain an agile wit so they can dance along with the experience; and to relate that experience to contemporary life. My preference is to focus on local premieres but does not preclude revisiting classic plays from new perspectives.

Ultimately, our work must focus not just on the new and relevant, but possess—at its core—the honesty and humanity to genuinely move audiences. We come to the theater for contact and connections: with characters, fellow audience members, and the mind of the playwright. We will use humor, intelligence, and surprise as the keys to open ourselves to the shared human experience. At Theater Wit, the path to our hearts is through our minds—we touch both or we touch none.

At the same time, I also want to acknowlege the implicit bias and white privilege in our work over the last fifteen years. Like so many in the white artistic community, I am now striving to become anti-racist in action as well as programming. This has been an eye-opening year and I am humbled by the work that lies ahead of organizations such as ours.

As we move toward opening our doors again to Chicago, I pledge to expand our opportunities and programming in recognition of the large parts of Chicago's audience and artists that have not been served by structural racism. I believe the best is yet to come. This is an amazing time to work in Chicago Theater, and in particular at Theater Wit.

Thank you all for sharing it with me.