I want to make sure I teach my son the word no. I don't want him to hear an incessant string of nos coming from me. But what I do want him to understand is that there are boundaries that people can establish between themselves and others in the world, and when he encounters them, they should be respected. I want him to feel that he has the power and the authority to set his own boundaries. I want him to feel empowered and autonomous. I wish someone had taught this to me when I was a child.
In art, I have a nearly opposite attitude. I want to hear nothing but yeses. I want hear myself saying yes. I want to hear ACTORS and DESIGNERS saying yes. Yes, to embrace the givens and spring from them, yes, to throw oneself into a rehearsal, into the world of the play, into whatever circumstances or scenarios I pitch at them, into each other, yes, to every preposterous, unlikely, and just maybe brilliant idea that arises during the process. An attitude of can-do and find-a-way and we-will-make-this-happen is what makes beautiful collaborative art happen.