In 2015, when this play was published, I was a senior in high school. I see a lot of myself at that time in these characters. They are terrified and always scrambling for answers at the last second; obviously unprepared for life after graduation. They feel alone. Being anyone in high school is painfully difficult, and being a girl in high school is oftentimes, worse. And I could count on one hand the characters I saw portrayed in movies and television and theatre that reflected my actual experiences. The young people in Dry Land are not Glee characters. They are not the subjects of a young adult romance novel. They are humans: real, raw, imperfect, funny, messed up, heartbroken, scared. Life doesn’t happen in stereotypes. We don’t always end up in the same place at the same time. We don’t get a gloss coat. My experience as a young woman has been visceral and painful and messy and confusing and thrilling and blissful and terrifying. Dry Land gives a voice to young women experiencing the pain of growing up. For me, it is so deeply satisfying to read a story that I see a teenage version of myself in.
This process has broken my heart and built me back up countless times. It has given me something to look forward to and taught me immensely about community-building, leadership, and being able to adapt to ANYTHING. I never imagined it would end up like this, but I am a better director because of it. This project is now a year in the making. Last August, I was having conversations with friends about whether or not I should apply for the Student-Produced, re-reading Dry Land, and psyching myself out because I didn't know if I was ready for something like this (having no idea what THIS would evolve in to). This August, I have a team of dedicated friends and artists working to produce this show (finally!) online and stream it to a virtual audience while we are all just trying to stay safe and navigate the rough waters of 2020. I thank you all from the bottom of heart for sharing in this weird and thrilling experience with me.
I know we will all come out on dry land.