Salty Brine: They let me imagine, so that I can help you imagine

I want to talk to you about Pipeline Theater Company — and about imagination.

There is a moment in the theater— a holy moment— when the house lights dim and the audience quiets and the performers take a breath— and then a leap.

What happens after that moment is any audience member’s guess. My hope— sitting in the house— is that I’m going to witness the impossible made possible before my very eyes.

This is why I go see everything Pipeline produces.

I’m not talking about illusion. I’m talking about imagination; The thrill your brain gets from a story told well— and in surprising ways; A feeling that you’ve been transported somewhere— though you haven’t moved; Memories of your own life flipping up and around you as the characters on stage remind you of your own humanity.

I’m talking about imagination. You haven’t taken leave of your senses. You don’t believe what you see on stage is actually happening; You imagineit. You are lead, by the company and the artistic team, toward imagination.

When theater is done well it is our imaginations that reap the rewards. And our imaginations need rewarding. They need tending to. Theyneed attention paid. It is where we find and know and create ourselves; In our imaginations. It is how we dream the world a better, more brilliant place.

As a performer I was fortunate enough to roam the funhouse-mirrored halls of a deranged, musical clown brain in Pipeline’s 2014 production of Adam Szymkowicz’s Clown Bar.

As a playwright I was thoroughly supported through a year of dreaming, playing, and creating— imagining— in the 2015 Pipeline Playlab.

This dedicated, joyful team brought me through each process with grace and truth and an unbelievable amount of hard work. Their dedication to my imagination as an artist was inspiring— remains inspiring to this day.

They let me imagine so that I can help you imagine.

I hope you’ll take a moment today and donate to this incredible company. It is a gift you give to them, to artists like me, and to yourself.

Bottom Photo by Ahron R. Foster from Clown Bar (2014).