Friday, November 24, 2017

Recently, the Nextblog mailboxes have been FULL of letters from young, aspiring artists. Touched by their thoughts and concerns, the Nextblog would like to introduce Mr. Next, who will now answer any and all questions at any hour of any day for those in need. Mr. Next would especially like to respond to this heartfelt cry for help he received just yesterday.

Dear Mr. NEXT, 

Choosing the perfect college was an incredibly daunting task. That one small choice had the potential to affect my entire life! What put my current school at the top of the list for me was the family series it produces, an old and important tradition for the city of Chicago.

 But now that I’m attending a theatre conservatory where so many students are focused on learning Shakespeare, or the classics like O’Neil or Williams, or the hip verses of Suzan-Lori Parks, where do I, someone who gets excited over the latest adaptation of The Emperors New Clothes, fit in? Sure, there are some people who are enthusiastic about our young audiences productions… and that’s all great… but I don’t see any of them walking around with the Dramatic Publishing catalog with a sticky next to all the latest Joseph Robinette adaptations. Many of my classmates run out and see the hottest thing  at the Goodman or Steppenwolf, but I’d much rather check out the latest work at a place like Chicago Children’s Theatre or Emerald City Theatre.  

I’m the TYAF go-to kid. The Token Young Audience Fan, if you will. And how will poor little ol’ me make myself feel like a non-outcast at school? 

 But is that all Mr. Next? Is that all I can do? Is there a place I can turn to? Is there anything I’m not doing? Spirits of TYALand – send me your guidance!!! Most sincerely,

Outcast (not of the music scene, but of my current well known and established theatre training institution )

Dear Outcast, 

Let me first say, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”  I too always knew that I was different at school! I was surrounded by people singing showtunes and they knew that I liked YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN a little too much. But NEXT is the perfect place for you to feel like you’re a part of the scene. Leave your comments and start disucssions. If your classmates are too busy talking about Neil Labute… why don’t you log on and write about IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PARTY or GO, DOG, GO.  Please know, all is not desperate. You are a member of a vital and creative community. Sing out Louise! Be proud of that hidden Dramatic Publishing cataloge. Yours in TYA-ness, Mr. NEXT  

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