With all the news about the evolution of Mayday and In the Heart of the Beast Theatre cycling around, I want to clarify my personal circumstances in answer to questions coming my way.
Many people greet me with the question: How is your retirement going?? I pause, and then I say: “I am not “retired”, rather, I have been permanently laid off from In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. I need to find other work. My heart, mind, and hands are clear, open and strong so I am happy for connections from you that may come my way.“
I understand the public confusion on my status is partly because I intentionally stepped down from the directorship of Mayday to open it up to new leadership toward MayDay’s evolution. A year and a half ago I made the decision that the recent 2019 MayDay was to be my last as its director. I fully intended that part of my staff responsibilities would be the sacred task of supporting the new leadership and the processes of transition during the next years. Then unexpectedly, the finances of the theatre became very fragile (last fall 2018) and the Executive Director with the Board of Directors enacted a plan to cut the expenses of the theatre by laying off 8 staff people, including me. As of June 1st, I have no longer been part of the staff of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre and as a result, I am in the process of seeking other work.
Just so that everyone is clear, because of this change, I have not been part of the decision-making at this time at HOBT. That said, I wish to support the people coming together to hold the core of joy, sustenance, and relevance for the evolution of Mayday and I hope that the work continues with ART as a center of relationship building. I am also happy for the formation of a MayDay Council and happy that Junauda Petrus-Nasah and Erin Sharkey will help guide this. And while I cannot judge the decision of delaying MayDay for a year—I trust the wisdom of those who now hold the responsibilities to make decisions to build a sustainable and equitable future for this vital community event and ritual. The current staff of the theatre is small and will need much support from all of us.
I admit that my current situation is personally surreal and I am grateful for all of you who have been curious and concerned about me. Thank you all so much.
I look forward to what will evolve,