Carlyle King

Are the Arts Important?

By Carlyle King
Road Artistic Board Member

Dear Road Family and Friends of the Arts,

I am sure that I speak for the majority of us but I can’t wait for things to go back to normal.  To be able to go to the store without a mask & gloves, to not have to wash down everything before bringing it inside, to not try to do one more puzzle, play one more game of  Monopoly.  The thing I crave most is people.  My friends. I am going a little stir crazy with just my immediate family and I crave outside stimulation, especially from my theatrical community. As good as Zoom is, nothing replaces human contact. I just miss life!

In the exploration of what matters in this life,  I always go to my source, my touchstone, my 93-year-old Mom. I asked her about what it was like for her during the depression. She talked about the federal government coming into their house and taking everything of value before they could qualify for relief. She said they even took the insurance policies.  One of the biggest things that got them through it was the arts.  A good plate of pasta. “Theatre, Film, Television. Radio.  They helped us through it.  It was the same thing during  World War II,  the arts helped us as a nation. Sometimes as a mirror for what was going on and sometimes to help us escape with laughter and with tears.”

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The Road has been busy, planning for when this is all over and we can return to what we do the best. Our inaugural playwrights’ development workshop “Under Construction.” Twelve Los Angeles playwrights who made a year commitment to write a play. We kick off our 11th Annual Playwrights Festival (the largest in the country) in late July. Then on August the 29th, our 29thbirthday, and in September the opening of the World Premiere of “Scintilla” by Alessandro Camon.

I believe that when this is over, we will find that the arts helped us through it.  Reading a book.  Watching a TV series.  Visiting the National Theatre’s website and watching the hilarity of  “1 Man 2 Guvnors” and the anguish of “Jane Ayre.”

The arts at their best are always transformative.  In preparation for our return, The Road Theatre will definitely need your help. We know everyone is going through difficulties right now but if you can, please consider the Road Theatre.

There have been many good things that have come out of this isolation; my daughter Marjorie and I have learned how to make homemade pasta, my husband Web and I are planting a garden, but nothing can replace human contact and the need for an artistic outlet is necessary and vital. So until we see each other in person, stay safe, be creative, and be kind.

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