Incite/Insight Winter 2019 FINAL Incite Insight Winter 2019 - Page 10

10 I n c i t e /I ns i ght W i n te r 20 1 9 Photo Credit: David Marshall Finalists in the 2019 Boston Regional Finalists of the Huntington Theatre’s August Wilson Monologue Competition. August Wilson’s own life is a testament to the strength and resilience of the young people in our country. The path he walked, the experiences he had, what he witnessed through his family and community connections, and then what he put down in writing that can live on long after he died - the black experience in America. Vital reading for all of us; Necessary connection for our young people. On June 26, 1996, August Wilson addressed the attendees of the 11th biennial Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference. TCG would publish his speech in 2001, and “The Ground On Which I Stand” would be forever recorded, added to a rich and unmatched legacy the playwright had already given to the American Theatre. The final words of this speech stick with me, and often remind me of the obligations theatre educators have across our country. I share these words with you here and encourage you to find room in your work for Wilson’s cycle. “I believe in the American theatre. I believe in its power to inform about the human condition, I believe in its power to heal, ‘to hold the mirror as ’twere up to nature,’ to the truths we uncover, to the truths we wrestle from uncertain and sometimes unyielding realities. All of art is a search for ways of being, of living life more fully. We who are capable of those noble pursuits should challenge the melancholy and barbaric, to bring the light of angelic grace, peace, prosperity and the unencumbered pursuit of happiness to the ground on which we all stand. Thank you.” Meg O’Brien is the interim co-director of education at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. In her time in the Huntington’s Education Department, she has directed and/or stage managed over 25 productions and showcases. She has presented at multiple national conferences about her work with arts integration and partnerships and is currently one of two Professional Theatre Network Chairs for AATE.