Do something Nov 3, 2020

by Betsey

Dear Art Lover,

Betsey & I are both bracing ourselves for an intense week, next few months, and into next year. No matter what the outcome is of the Election today, there is still so much work to be done, to heal, to move forward, and to build the future we want. We have remained energized by our conversations with artists and with the OtB community. It truly is an unprecedented time to be presenting live performance! 

It seems like an odd week to be opening a new performance, let alone to be welcoming people back to our building, or to be premiering A THOUSAND WAYS: Part Two: An Encounter. And yet, Betsey & I couldn’t imagine doing anything else this week. Supporting artists, helping them bring their visions to life, sharing it with audiences is what we do at On the Boards. This is how we want to meaningfully fill our time. 600 HIGHWAYMEN (Michael & Abby) take the idea of creating an experimental performance and are incredible generous in the way they deliver the theatrical form in order to helps us reconnect to each other.

In Zadie Smith’s recent book, Intimations, she discusses the idea of artists and questions why they create. I (Rachel) remember being asked this question all the time as a kid. To explain what it was that I did, or why I decided to go to art school. You fumble around trying to find an answer that feels substantial or explains the big picture meaning making you are interested in communicating, or the world building, community movement making you are one day hoping to see enacted. Zadie articulates this so clearly, something to do. She states, “Out of the expanse of time, you carve a little area—that nobody asked you to carve—and you do “something.” This is what we do at On the Boards. This is what the artists that founded On the Boards did, this is what the staff, the artists, the board, and the community have done. Together we have created this artistic and creative space in order to do something, to make things happen in the world.     

 We are doing what we can to take care of ourselves, our staff, and our community. We hope you, too, are taking time this week to check in with your friends, looking out for each other, and being kind to yourselves. And we hope that you know that we are here for you, On the Boards is here for you.

Much love and support,


   Photo: A THOUSAND WAYS by Maria Baranova