The last few weeks have felt like a war on hope. Hope feels CRIMINAL, and focusing on any information that’s NOT bleak is punishable by internet shame. I literally read a headline this morning that said ‘We must curb enthusiasm for return to normalcy.’ There’s this tension between positivity and reality that probably has always existed in the media but feels so palpable, now. Actions based on worst case scenarios are keeping us safe, but also, these scenarios are the death of Hope.
For years, I’ve been wanting to do something with Pollyanna, like stick her in a modern world where it’s sort of impossible, or certainly much more challenging, to remain positive, given the constant onslaught of terrible news. It might be a play, it might be a movie, maybe it’s a post-it note, maybe it’s something I say in my sleep that I forget to write down? I kind of see myself as a Pollyanna type person, and have always wondered: to what extent am I truly just a hopeful and positive person, and to what extent have I been ALLOWED to be, because of the privileges of my upbringing and the lack of extreme tragedy in my life? And even if I’m only able to be constantly playing the Glad Game because of the circumstances of my life, isn’t it sort of my civic duty to show other people how to play it? But then at what point am I just an idiot with a bow on her head shouting about Bright Sides while the world burns? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN POLLYANNA GETS THE CORONA VIRUS? These answers and more in my new play PANDEMIC POLLYANNA, COMING SOON TO A ZOOM THEATER NEAR YOU WHERE ALL OF THE ACTORS ARE ACTUALLY JUST IN THEIR LIVING ROOMS BUT ‘SET DESIGNERS’ HAVE PUT VERY COOL BACKGROUNDS BEHIND THEM.