Friday, September 16, 2011
Enjoying the light
Monday night was a glorious evening for me not just because it was the 15th anniversary celebration of Broadway Blessing, the interfaith service of song, dance and story I started and have been producing all these years to bring the theatre community together every September to ask God’s blessing on the new season. I also had the honor of receiving one of this year’s two The Lights Are Bright on Broadway Awards given by Masterwork Productions and presented to me by executive director Lauren Yarger (right in photo with me.)
“Masterwork Productions is a non profit Christian Performing arts organization,” Yarger said during the event at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. “Our mission, through a variety of ministries, is to equip, support and serve Christians using the arts as a tool for outreach in their communities. Several years ago we began presenting The Lights Are Bright on Broadway Awards to individuals and organizations making a difference in the Broadway community through their faith. I am thrilled to be here to present one of our 2011 awards to Broadway Blessing producer Retta Blaney because she has been an encourager and mentor to me and has become a close friend. Part of the reason that she is receiving this award is because I suspect that most of you here this evening can say the same thing. It's my pleasure to present The Lights are Bright on Broadway Award to Retta Blaney, for her work exploring the intersection of religion and theater, for being a support and inspiration for artists of faith and for uniting persons of faith through the annual Broadway Blessing.”
I haven’t put the award on a bookshelf in the hall with my other awards yet because I want to look at it frequently. It sits on my coffee table facing my wing back chair and whenever I look up from my book or newspaper, there it is, a joyous reminder of many years of hard work that made my dream of uniting theatre people in pray come true.
Thank you Lauren and thanks to all those who supported my vision -- clergy members, the actors, singers and dancers who have come every year to perform for free, the wonderful volunteer Broadway Blessing Choir and everyone at the Cathedral for their enthusiastic embrace of this unusual little service.
Here’s to the next 15 years!