I’m Thankful for Theatre, This Year and Every Year

Anthony J. Piccione

  • New York Columnist

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was initially published at this time last year, to express the sentiment that I felt during Thanksgiving 2015. For this reason, some of the specific things listed in this column may be more reflective of what my life was a year ago, when I was still in college and just writing my first articles at On Stage. 
However, while some things in my own life have changed since then, my gratitude toward theatre is still just as strong as ever, and I believe that the words written here still resonate with a large portion of our readers. It is for this reason that I’ve decided to resubmit this column, on this day. Hope you enjoy it, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Since it is Thanksgiving week, I suppose now is about the time of year (while we’re not eating) that we should be thinking about what it is in our lives that we are most thankful for. There are quite a few things that I could name that I am thankful to have in 2015, from my friends and family to being almost done with college to my massive collection of DVDs. 
However, if there is one thing that always keeps coming to the forefront of my mind EVERY year when I think about this topic for Thanksgiving, it’s the many experiences that I’ve had over the years in theatre.
Sometimes, that might mean the dozens of times I’ve appeared on stage as an actor, having performed in front of hundreds (if not thousands) of different people total over the years.
Other times, it might even mean helping out backstage in some other capacity, while meaning tons of great people in the process.
Maybe it means the college classes I’ve taken where I’ve learned lots about theatre that I didn’t know before, and at least one of which helped me decide what specific career path I’ve since started to follow.
Or maybe it means the opportunities I’ve had in the past to help pass along whatever knowledge I might have in theatre to young people through my work in children’s theatre as a Teaching Assistant.
In recent years, it’s usually referred to my love of playwright, the opportunities I’ve had recently to see some of my works get produced in Connecticut and my hopes for the future of seeing my work staged elsewhere after college.
This year, it has also meant the opportunity I’ve had to contribute weekly articles here at OnStage, in which I get to voice my opinions on a variety of different topics related to theatre, and then hearing some of the reactions that others have to them.

And of course, just having a chance to be a theatergoer and to see some great shows – both at the professional and community level – is something that I am always thankful to experience, as unfortunately, not everyone lives in an area where they have the same level of access to the arts that many of us have, which is something I’d like to see change in the future. However, that’s another topic for another day.
For now, I’ll just say this: Generally speaking, the art of theatre has played a critical role in my development as a writer, performer and human being. As I’ve stated in previous articles, it has even helped me survive some very dark moments in my own personal life, and continuing to learn and to have new experiences in theatre is what helped me remain inspired to keep going and being the best that I can be even today. Indeed, as I prepare to graduate college next year, I’m already looking forward to what lies ahead, in terms of more new experiences in theatre.
I recognize that some of the people reading this column might have very similar experiences in theatre, while others might have vastly different experience. However, at the end of the day, there’s still always that one thing that I think we can all agree on: That each and every year on Thanksgiving, as well as every other day of the year, we are ALWAYS thankful for theatre.
This column was written by Anthony J. Piccione: Playwright, producer, screenwriter, actor, poet, critic and essayist based in New York City. 
To learn more about Mr. Piccione and his work, please visit www.anthonyjpiccione.tumblr.com. Also, be sure to follow him on Facebook(www.facebook.com/AnthonyJPiccione.OfficialPage) and on Twitter (@A_J_Piccione).