What’s up? I’ll get to the “You” part in a minute. Right now I want to remind you what’s up in Carmel, Indiana in June. From June 17-23, the AACT holds its National Festival at the Carmel Performing Arts Center just outside Indianapolis. I’d really like to be there. Haven’t made an AACT festival since the International Festival in Paradise in 2010. Saw some of the best theatre I’ve ever seen at that festival and met some great theatre folks as well. Spent a lot of time at our vendor table representing Heartland Plays, Inc. We were such a young company then. Only a handful of plays in our catalog and yet I knew even then that the quality of our playwrights and their work competed with the best. I wanted to set up in Carmel. But as a still developing company, I had to make a decision whether to spend sparse marketing dollars on airfare and lodging at an event that I’d love to attend or if I needed to pass it up so that the money could be spent on expanding our e-newsletter to reach more theatres and placing ads in publications like American Theatre Magazine and Spotlight, publications that help support not only great playwrights and their plays but outstanding theatre companies and educational programs and the people that work hard to connect them to one another. It’s so difficult to know the best way to reach theatres. We have a responsibility to our playwrights to make their work known to producers and artistic directors and students and anyone else who loves this great art form we call theatre…all those in a position to bring dramatic works of art to life on stage. The AACT Festival in Carmel is a prime example of people who spend their energy, time and talent, to keep theatre alive and well in big towns and little towns all across America. And here is where the “You” comes in. If like me you can’t make it to Carmel, be sure to do your part this year to keep theatre up and running in your community. Direct a play. Perform in a Play. Attend a Play. Make a donation to your favorite playhouse. And most of all, if you are in a position to do so, give new or emerging playwrights the hand up they deserve. If it weren’t for their talents, there would be no great theatres, directors or actors. It’s up to you.