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I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I'm thankful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving. Friends, family, food, health. Another thing I'm thankful for is Thanksgiving.

I really, really love the idea of Thanksgiving. I love it because it feels like a religious holiday, both in tone and in the reverence of its observation. But... it's not. It's national. I can't think of anything else quite like it.

And I love that.

I love that there's this occasion that brings us together to celebrate qualities like love, abundance and gratitude, but that what brings us there is not any god or religious dogma, but our identity as Americans. We're brought together by our togetherness, as simple and strange as that sounds. By the fact that we are all here, occupying the same the space in the same nation. And all of us, because we're here, because we're alive, because our ancestors (whether literally in Plymouth or elsewhere) survived the winter, we all have something to be thankful for.

I think, symbolically, this says something very unique and stirring about America. And while I know that particular idea often stays in the realm of symbolism rather than actual practice, it still means something to me. I know that Thanksgiving is in many ways the gateway from whence the monolith of the commercial American Christmas can emerge. I also know the American nation later near-demolished the very same people with whom we celebrate the Pilgrims breaking bread on the first Thanksgiving. I know that, though those Pilgrims came here with a dream of a world without religious persecution, once they were free of their own persecution they turned around and pretty much persecuted everybody else right back. And I know that that terrible persecution in the name of religious zealotry still persists in this country, especially, and recently very tragically, towards the LGBT community.

But I still like the idea, that the most important holiday on the American calendar transcends faith, race, culture, and class. It's a moment when, despite everything else, we take a step back to contemplate our abundance. Together. I'm thankful for that.

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