I recently saw the touring Broadway production of “School of Rock’. I was mesmerized by the kids in the show and how they could sing, dance, and act so brilliantly as well as play instruments. However, what stopped me in my tracks was this song ‘If only you would listen.’

During the song the kids are singing to their parents asking them to listen to them. They want to be seen and heard. They want to have a voice. The students repeat the song later to Mr. Dewey, the substitute teacher, asking him to listen to them. The reason why it caught me off guard? Because one of the main reasons, after much soul searching, I realized I wanted people to listen. Theatre is a great way to get people to listen, to have a voice, and to share.

My name is Nikki Abramson. I am excited to bring to you the news and notes. My goal is to inspire and uplift you throughout my notes, to take on what is going on in the theatrical news, to be real, to be seen, to be heard, but maybe most importantly to inspire you. Theatre has a way, a gift, to inspire others and I desire to be that voice.

My news will perhaps take you to an interview with someone in the industry, a review of a show, comments about what is going on in theatre today, hot button issues, but at the core of what I am about is inspiring my readers through theatre. Theatre has the power to heal, transform, and empower a person and it has done that for me. This is why I want you to listen, because ultimately we all have a voice we want to share with the world. If you want me to see a show, a person you want me to interview, a topic you want me to write about, please let me know. I am open to ideas and suggestions as we look at inspiring others in this crazy world where there is tension and it is hard to really listen to others.

My lens is perhaps different than many. I was super shy growing up. I started out in choir, so I could blend in with others. Performing was NOT a goal of mine. A few friends of mine dragged me to an audition in high school for the musical Our Miss Brooks. Thinking I would mainly go to support them and also to hang out with my friends more, I decided to go and next thing I knew I was asked to read lines and was cast as Elaine in the show. From then on I was hooked on performing. I performed in several other shows in high school.

Now I am an actor, director, choreographer, and teaching artist. I spend my days in the classrooms teaching youth the love of theatre, acting, expression of voice, ability to make choice and speak for themselves. If you were to ask me when I graduated from college if I would be doing anything remotely in theatre, or writing for that matter, I would have laughed at you. I graduated with an elementary education degree from Bethel University and then went on to recently graduate with my masters in K-12 education. I have found though that my passion is theatre, education, and writing on these issues because "I have so much to say, if only you would listen."

In 2009 I found Minnesota Playlist as a way to find gigs, understand theatre culture, and get into the theatre scene. I was hooked on the website as a platform for sharing my work. I decided to get a talent profile, share who I am, and make it known that I have a story to tell. Perhaps that story will come in a future News and Notes.

News and Notes matters for our readers because if we aren't informed within our culture, we live in a bubble. It is important to open our eyes to see what is around us, hear various perspectives, and listen. I will do my best to serve you all in writing positive uplifting notes that come from the theatre artist perspective. I think that we all strive to better understand each and the world. Theatre is the place that we can better do that.           

"’Can't you see I'm hurting, I couldn't be more clear.’ I got so much to say, if only you would listen."  

I have had much pain in my life due to disability and illness. Theatre is a way for me to express myself.  I have so much to say and I so desire for you to listen. As we journey together take time to understand various perspectives, whether they are alike or different from yours. If you did see School of Rock, what did you think? Because of the very nature of being a teacher, the interesting plot, and the kids were super talented I give it high remarks. I am often caught off guard when there is a line or song in a show that has extra meaning to it. For me, that song was "If Only You Would Listen."

Is there a song or a line that caught your heart?