The night of our first preview for HARRY CLARKE, I waited backstage, terrified. Our stage manager Shelly called “places,” which I joke should really be “place” because I’m the only one onstage. I looked across the stage at the spot where I used to stand 23 years ago before I made my entrance in AMERICA DREAMING (in which I was completely nude, so that was a very memorable entrance for me). And I knew I couldn’t have done HARRY CLARKE anywhere but The Vineyard. This is the place. These are the people with whom I can experiment with something so rigorous and difficult. If The Vineyard thinks I can do this, I thought, maybe I can do this.
The Vineyard has always been here for me and my career. They cast me in my very first professional production right out of NYU grad school, Chiori Miyagawa’s AMERICA DREAMING, trusted me to do Adam Rapp’s incredible play THE METAL CHILDREN, and now they have given me the opportunity to collaborate with Leigh Silverman and David Cale on the creation of this fascinating solo show, HARRY CLARKE.
Over two decades, The Vineyard’s belief in me and the opportunities they have given me have asked me to challenge myself. That is exactly what they do for so many artists.
The Vineyard has a relentless, decades long tradition of supporting artists and pursuing ambitious theatre in New York City. To keep a theatre with these aspirations running in a time of dwindling public funding is a pretty herculean effort and one that is very close to my heart. The arts, and theatre in particular, do something substantial for our society and our sense of self. We need the art The Vineyard makes — ambitious and challenging, from the heart, with integrity and passion and vision — to thrive in our country. As far as I am concerned, we should all be helping to fortify that imperative.
I am so honored by my long association with The Vineyard. I hope you will consider supporting this profoundly important artistic home for me and so many artists.
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