|Mara & Emily at This Year's Benefit Celebration in May|
No business plan.
No artistic long-term plan.
No marketing plan (we didn't even have computers).
But we did have a script. I had written my first play a year earlier, "Dance of My Daughter." Emily took that script and created movement that told the story so powerfully. My words lay still upon the page, but with her amazing talent they moved, they split apart. She created dance, imagery through movement. A few months later we had a fully staged show at the Ensemble Studio Theater, and packed houses. The adrenaline rush, our sense of accomplishment, our creating, was just too good. We couldn't stop.
|Mara and Emily PR photo for Outside of Kissing Rock 2002|
We made more dance-plays. We began leaving NYC to tour. We grew. We began working in the schools, raising money, cultivating followers, donors.
|THS Company on tour in Arizona 2005|
There is so much that has happened to us in 16 years. We have created twelve original shows, five of which are currently on tour. We have created our process, taken it apart and worked it in different ways, kneading it, questioning it, and baking it again. We both have married, have children, moved out of Hell's Kitchen. But we are still the same. We have met, performed and taught tens of thousands of young people. We have performed in homeless shelters, world renown festivals, and Broadway style theaters. We have driven our company through New York City, the desert, the mountains, the beaches. We have been through a terrorist attack, natural disasters, financial doomsday. But we are still the same. We are not stopping. Artists do not turn off what they must do.
After 16 years I still love to write, to tell stories with words. Emily still loves to make dance. To tell stories with movement. That will never change. I still want to run into William H. Macy, think Naked Angels is genius, and the Lab company changed the performance landscape. Steve Buscemi will always rock. And Treehouse Shakers, a non-profit dance theater company, is still hard at work, celebrating its 16th year!