From Tim Sanford


It’s not just in “times like these” that we need art. But, whether you are a maker, a consumer, an advocate, an acolyte, a student, or just a fan of the arts, aren’t you especially grateful that we have artists to process or reflect or rise above the anxiety and acrimony of the times?  We rely on them to show us not just who we are, but who we should be.

I have been lucky to live my life surrounded by such beautiful, brilliant artists.  I can name moments from a rich bounty of plays we have produced that have literally changed my life: from “How Glory Goes” in Floyd Collins, to Marvelous and Donald dancing together at the end of Familiar; from the church scene in The Drunken City, to “The Sisterwives Oratorio” from Iowa. Just to pick a few scenes at random. 

It's not just in “times like these” that we need art.

I’m sure each of you has your own cherished memory of moments at Playwrights Horizons that have stayed with you, moments of great beauty, resolve, grace and warmth.  Won’t you dig deep and aim high along with us and help us continue to produce new plays and musicals?  As we embrace the values of diversity and inclusion, artistic ambition and passion that drive our work, we need you to help us keep opening up the tent and inviting in all of our community to celebrate our common humanity together.

Those of us who make art—in my case theater—have been especially mindful of our responsibility and our calling to make art that matters.

There’s a moment in The Profane when Raif Almedin’s sarcastic daughter, Aisa, finds her father re-reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, searching for reassurance that his calling as an artist still matters.  He whimsically declaims the famous phrase from that novel in an Irish accent: “to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” I’ve always loved that phrase, but when I looked at it again recently, I was struck by the pertinence of the whole sentence that contains it:

“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”

Here, succinctly put, is the artistic paradigm we pledge to uphold at Playwrights Horizons. 

The playwrights we work with dig deep and aim high.  They take seriously their calling to define humanity, to capture it in all its complexity.  And the path towards that value is the reality of experience, the multiplicity of experiences each artist encounters, but also the multiplicity of artists that see the world through their own, individual lens.

Together, we can continue to ensure our plays reflect the world around us through stories that can only be told on stage. Your partnership allows us to support each Playwrights’ full creative development and nurture their unique voice. Thank you for your generosity and we’ll see you at the theater!

Thank you. 

Tim Sanford
Artistic Director
May, 2017