I Found God at the Hangar

July 5, 2013 / by Jamila Reddy



There are so many things I could say in this post. So I’ll just try to get to the heart of it. And I promise I’ll blog more often. Here goes.


My directing professor in college told me that the word inspire comes from a Greek word meaning “to find God.”

There is no better way to explain this summer so far.

The theatre has always been my church. It is the place where I feel most inspired, a place where I am compelled to serve something bigger than myself, the place where I want to take off my shoes at the door and enter clean.

I come from the South — where the church is in almost everyone and everything in some capacity — where they believe in an “on time God." (He may not come when you want him, but he’ll be there right on time.)

Though I’ve never been very religious, I use this song to remind myself that I cannot plan when and how I will “find God”— I cannot dictate the exact moment I will be inspired by (and in turn, learn from) this work that I do.

The lessons I’ve gotten this summer at the Hangar have come from the most unexpected places and people, and at the most unexpected times. I thought I came here to learn how to be better director. (And I did…but…) It is just one of many reasons why I am here.

I’m learning how to be a better student. A better collaborator. A better friend, advocate, listener, mentor, leader— and most all of these lessons have come from experiences outside of the rehearsal room. Huh. Who would’ve thought? (Roger, Gabriel, Stephanie…that’s who. Thanks, y’all. Really.)

At the beginning of the summer, the four Drama League Directors sat in a circle with the Lab Academy and shared all the questions we we wanted to have answered by the end of our time at the Hangar.

My question was: “Why Theatre?”

This summer is filled with answers to that question.

I’ve learned more than ever before that people are hungry to engage with each other. To hear and to be heard. To see and to be seen.

Theatre is a launching point for dialogue, the church in which we enter in hopes of coming out anew. I like to think that I’ve chosen this life (or it chose me) so that I can help people “find God,” to inspire them to see the god in each other.

No big deal. We got this.