Monday, March 17, 2014

Ode for a Staff Meeting

One of my favorite things that happens here at the theater is our all-staff meetings. Around once a month, the entire staff will gather in our library, eat some food, drink some wine or coffee, and catch up. Since we're not a tiny place, this means that you get to check in with departments you don't often get to see - the administrative departments can hang out with the incredible people of the production team, who are usually out in the shop building the shows, etc. It allows the whole theater staff to connect, and even better, connect over wine and cheese. And since the theater happens to be staffed by an exceptional group of smart, fun, interesting people, hanging out with them hardly seems like work.

Each of these meetings is hosted by a separate department, who provides the food and leads the discussion. Sometimes this takes the form of a talk by an outside person about something the department feels would be useful (the operations department recently had a representative from an insurance company talk to us all), or the department themselves will give some insight into the projects they've been working on and what they do.

The most recent meeting fell to my department and I was tasked with the talk, as it were. Since we bear the heady title of Artistic, I felt some pressure to do something that was, well, artistic (or at least artistic-ish). But what? An interpretive dance representing my feelings about developing new work? A song about lobby displays? A terrible short play about all the good long plays we produce? None of these seemed right (correction: all of these seemed TERRIBLE). So I decided to try the muse for... a poem. Not a good poem, mind you, but a poem. So, without further ado, I present to you:

An Ode from Artistic 

Colleagues and coworkers gathered today, 
You might be thinking, “wait, is this a play?!” 
To which I say, nope, let me give reassurance
Acting we’re not, nor providing insurance. 
But for a staff meeting, you could do worse
Than to provide your precis, but do it in verse. 
So go get a sampling of nibbles and booze 
Find a nice seat, have nice schmooze, 
And I’ll tell you all what we do in Artistic
While somewhere the ghost of Shakespeare goes ballistic.

If you need someone whose domain is logistic
Don’t look to us - for our realm is artistic. 
Spreadsheets and numbers? Sure, we’ve got a few. 
But dealing in drama? That’s what we do. 
We pick out new plays with a promising mien 
Then give them some readings so they can be seen
Or if, in programming, ‘classic’s the word
We’ll set out some context so meanings aren’t blurred
We make sure our audiences are aware
Of the background and hist’ry of plays that we share 
We fully believe in promoting discussion 
Whether on Chile or use of percussion
If writers need space to commune with their muse
We’ll help them to write with some Navesink views. 
We take care of artists, and tend to their work
Though they’re sometimes peculiar, we love every quirk.
We’re proud to contribute, to play our own part: 
We help the people who help make the art.  
So come visit us in our orange domain 
And if you were wond’ring, we’ll gladly explain:
Here in Artistic, we love what we do
But equally, colleagues, we love all of you. 

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