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City Arts editorial staff at Washington Hall for the Future List party in late January.

It should come as no surprise that this month’s Spring Arts guide is packed with political work—though there are exceptions for those days when you need a breather.

Well before the election, back when many companies were planning their seasons, a shift in social consciousness inspired a multitude of shows steeped in justice and empathy. Since then, the focus of many performing artists has only sharpened, raising the stakes and the pitch of their work. Most of the artists I know are determined to apply the tools of their craft to bring clarity and relief to this difficult, draining time.

Especially in the theatre. All creative enterprises play important roles in the effort to carve out a new and better reality, but the performing arts pull us out of isolation, away from the onslaught of news constantly pouring from the Internet’s pixel palace, and into a communal experience where the work’s humanity is tangible, corporeal. When I’m exhausted, sometimes the best way to recharge is to go sit in the dark with a room full of strangers and soak in a show.

As Jonathan Zwickel writes in his feature, you can get a similar experience at Civic Saturday, a sort of secular church that’s been drawing bigger and bigger crowds since it started last November. Created by Jená Cane, a longtime force in the local theatre community, and Eric Liu, an accomplished writer and citizenship guru, Civic Saturday is a rousing mix of theatre and politics, crackling with big ideas to energize us all.

See you out there,

LEAH BALTUS
Editor in Chief
leahb@cityartsmagazine.com

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