A Letter from Kelli O'Hara

I am not a playwright. I am not a composer. I am not a lyricist.  I am an actress who has mostly made a living in the seemingly safe world of revivals. I am incredibly grateful. But I am also an actress who earned my beginning in the exciting yet sometimes treacherous world of "new works."  The very first of these was Playwrights Horizons' production of My Life With Albertine written by Richard Nelson and Ricky Ian Gordon.  The experience changed my course, helped me to "lift-off" from my own newly-discovered horizon, and it gave me wings.  At least, that is how I felt about it.

Their mission is, and always has been, to take these risks so we can all grow.

I recently returned to Playwrights Horizons in the new Richard Greenberg, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie musical, Far From Heaven.  Once again, I cherished the experience of creating something new, and I watched it grow at the hands of its brilliant creators.  It was an absolute gift.

The truth is, gifts like these are increasingly hard to come by.  Finding a safe place to explore, to fail, to soar or to grow is monumentally necessary, and if writers stop having the confidence to try or we begin to fear ART THAT RISKS, the opportunities will cease to exist altogether.  There will be no growth, no wings, no lift-off.  There might only be more variations on the same safe theme.

We can't let that happen. Or, to put it more desperately, please don't let that happen!  Don't let it happen to the writers, to me, to YOU. We need to keep challenging ourselves.  

And we can.  Thankfully we have Playwrights Horizons. Their mission is, and always has been, to take these risks so we can all grow. They keep asking writers to be bold and to discover. They keep giving actors a chance to break through. They are the ones offering you the results.

But they need our help.  If we choose an artistic life that could take us beyond our horizons, we must support Playwrights Horizons.  We must give!  So give like you have never given before!  Give because you want to keep lifting off! Give because you want to be part of new art! Give because I asked you to and you would feel badly saying no!

Give because it's the right thing to do.  Please.

Give gifts.  Create opportunities.  Fly.


Kelli O'Hara
Actor, Far From Heaven (2012/13) and My Life with Albertine (2002/03) at Playwrights Horizons
Four-Time Tony Award Nominee

November 2013