It’s become a tradition at Brelby to spend the month of November reflecting on our artform and how it impacts us through our annual Blogathon.
This year, in honor of our 10th Season, our Blogathon participants will be sharing lists of 10 things that have impacted them, whether they be lessons or memories…or are looking ahead towards future goals.
Today’s blogger, Amanda Trombley is a Shakespeare expert, mom extraordinaire, and working artist.
Below she discusses 10 Artistic Goals she’s set for the future.
1. See more art: I’ll admit, it was a lot easier to see more shows before I had kids. Now babysitting can cost more than the tickets! However, I used to get really creative about ways to see shows that were out of my budget, and I’m ready to get a little creative about that again. I’m not just talking theatre either- I want to see more opera, ballet, cabarets, exhibits at the art museum- I want to surround myself and my family with creativity so I want the future years to include time to see more art.
2. Knock some dream roles off the bucket list: On the acting side of things, I have a long list of dream roles. Many of them are roles that were way too old for me when I put them on the list and now I’m creeping towards age appropriate for them. It is one of the things that makes growing older a blessing. I never quite fit as the typical ingenue for most directors, and now I’m approaching an age where I don’t even have to consider those types of roles. I’m ready to say: bring on the powerhouse female leads.
3. Knock some dream plays off the directing bucket list: This list includes huge artistic undertakings that would require a lot of resources (like the RSC’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) and some are just rarely done pieces of work (like the RSC’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – do you hear me universe?!) and others are just works or authors I feel particularly close to like The Winter’s Tale or The Crucible, but I definitely have a sizable directing bucket list to work through.
4. Convince more people that Shakespeare is fun/relevant/understandable: I think people are worried that if they don’t get EVERY SINGLE LINE the first time they hear it, that it means they fail at Shakespeare. Imagine if that pressure was applied to new plays?! Everyone would be intimidated by the theatre. Hamilton would have way less fans. I deeply believe Shakespeare is for everyone and that his works still have so much to say.
5. Submit my writing: When I was taking one of the longest theatre breaks in my life after having my second child, I started writing a few ten minute plays. I haven’t been ready to show or submit them to anyone. I’d like to give some revisions and get up the nerve to submit something.
6. Work on a play with one of my kids: Not to get too Von Trapp family on you… but I’d absolutely love to either be in a play with one of my kids or have them design on a play I’m directing or SOMETHING where we get to work on a project together. Even if it’s not for another 10-15 years.
7. Continue to work toward gender parity: It is encouraging to see the number of female directors, designers, playwrights, and roles grow, but we still have a long way to go and I want to do my part by continuing to be vocal and advocate for this, as well as living my values in the way I cast and what pieces I choose to work on.
8. Explore more opportunities to link theatre with social change and social justice: It has been a long held dream of mine to use theatre as a tool for social justice. In graduate school, I did an independent study course on programs that used Shakespeare as a tool for those in juvenile detention centers or in jails. I think a program like that could be really powerful here in Arizona and I want to keep adding to my tools as a theatre artist so that I’ll be ready to help make that happen.
9. Mentor more young artists: Being back in the classroom reminded me how important I think mentorship is. I look forward to teaching more in the years to come, and also mentoring young artists in a more one on one way.
10. Continue to model that a life in the arts and having a family are not mutually exclusive: How this work/life balance works for my family continues to evolve, but my family and my art are two of the great loves of my life, and I’m not willing to live without either of them. When I was younger, I was told again and again that this wasn’t possible and that I would see when I was older. I will rail against that idea until the day I die. Some years I may take on too much. Some years I may think I’m not taking on enough. But I get to define my own success, and I get to choose to work with theatre practitioners and companies who are willing to work with me to maintain both my artistry and my family. I’m so thankful Brelby is one of those places.