Every day I wake up drenched in tears. Food doesn’t taste good, I don’t crack a smile at jokes — nothing brings me joy. All because I won’t get to see the student plays that were supposed to go up this year at Brown University.
Without fail, tears start streaming down my face the moment my eyes open each morning. I imagine a life without student theatre, and this gives me an indescribably empty feeling. Words can barely capture the indifference that guides my life now that I don’t have the next student-written play festival to look forward to.
I cry myself to sleep and I cry through the night and then I wake up crying even more. Why even roll out of bed in the first place if there’s no scrappy production of Rent to look forward to? God, I can barely stand to think about how good it would’ve been. I’m going to start crying again.
My mom keeps calling me to say stuff like “Abby, snap out of it. Move on. Stop sobbing every time you think about missing out on attending Shakespeare on the Green’s 24 Hour Play Festival.” But I can’t. All I can do is stroke the cast photo from BUGS’ 2017 production of Pippin and wonder if I’ll ever feel so alive again.
What out-of-this-world productions would I have been privy to had the pandemic not made them impossible? The Rocky Horror Picture Show done entirely in pig latin? This Is Our Youth performed in a kitchen on John Street? Othello but it’s puppets? The physical pain I feel knowing I’ll never know what laid in wait is excruciating.
But don’t worry about me. I’ll hunker down with my bootleg of Sock & Buskin’s Next to Normal and tough it out.