What now?


Over the next two months - through May 31st - we are soliciting your ideas, essays, manifestos and words - however you want to answer this question: what now? We’ll publish the content in an ongoing collection and hopefully begin to stitch together a tapestry of ideas and thoughts, hopes and dreams, concerns and fears, and actions and sacrifices we are making to rebuild the performing arts community. 

It is impossible to fully grasp the influence 2020 had on our community. We can certainly measure it in numbers - including financial impact, lost revenue, grants awarded (or not). We can lament the sudden closure of productions that were underway, we can mourn the productions that were ready to go but never opened, and we can share the stories of the individuals whose lives and livelihood have been utterly decimated. 

But at some point we have to look up. We have to look around. And we have to ask “what now”? 

What will change in our industry as we emerge into this new post-pandemic era? For certainly things can’t be the same. Or can they? Will organizations try to pick up where they left off - and consider COVID an intermission of the same show they have run for years? The events of 2020 that were bound up in the pandemic but truly brought to light by the virus - bias, racism, racial inequality, gender inequality, hypocrisy of culturally held beliefs by those in power - will we use our art to address these? Will we rebuild our organizations to tear down those systemic issues embedded in our industry, in turn creating organizations that look out for and protect those most vulnerable? Will we ensure that those in our community who were most impacted don’t wake up from one nightmare into another one?

From the beginning Playlist has been your voice. Please speak up. Please share the work that often goes unnoticed - the hard fought battles that take one step forward for progress. Those conversations you are having with friends and colleagues about what now, what next, those are the stories we want to highlight. The more voices, the richer the thoughts, the deeper the considerations, the better. Let's emerge from this darkness sharing the stories of how we do better.

And please share this message throughout your community and our state. 

Let’s make what needs to happen next, happen right now.

Please submit articles to [email protected]. Please submit in some kind of editable format (word doc, pages doc, etc), and include an image for your article (if possible), a headshot or candid selfie and two sentence bio for your author profile on this site.

Headshot of Damon Runnals
Damon Runnals

Damon Runnals is the co-founder of Swandive Theatre with Meg DiSciorio, benevolent overlord of Minnesota Playlist, a local D&D Dungeon Master, and father to two amazing girls.