Opening Right Stories

Dusty Ballard

Teaching Artist, Director, and Podcaster from North Jersey

At the end of the day, stories and each other are all we’ve got. I’ve really missed gathering with friends and being able to connect about the art we are experiencing together.

During the last year and a half, for so many theatre artists the only option was to innovate or to have no work. A lot of us learned virtual platforms quickly, reassessed what was possible, and did everything we could to stretch our imaginations. I was so inspired by the creative work I saw from peers and colleagues on the various platforms. We would jump on the phone right after and tell each other how we did it. That brought back some of the fun. But it wasn’t the same.

I imagine the first time I go back to a live performance at a New Jersey Theatre, there will be lots of tears, lots of applause, lots of breathing in moments, lots of gratitude, lots of love, maybe some hugs. I can’t wait. And as true theatre nerd, I think Emily’s words from Our Town (which originally premiered in New Jersey!) sum up exactly what I’m feeling: “I’m ready to go back.”