I was very lucky to be able to experience the full production of Preparedness by Hillary Miller early in December, produced by our partner The Bushwick Starr at HERE in Manhattan. This play was the last residency at Hubbard Hall just prior to the pandemic. In fact, the scheduled showcase of this work at the Hall was our first canceled event, as things shut down in March 2020.
The play is a hilarious and moving story about a small college’s theater department taking part in a mandated safety training for an active shooter. Hillary dives deep into questions of how policies and people meet. And what it means to prepare for the worst while not losing your soul – and your sense of community. This theater department faculty is tempted to surrender their pursuit of creativity and joy in exchange for proposed safety protocols and vast amounts of funding. Ultimately the characters realize the importance of staying connected and creative, and struggle to resist the internal and external pressures to conform.
As we enter a third year of the pandemic, it feels important to remember and be mindful of what we’re all preparing for.