photo collage from Annie, Fantastics, and Chicago of characters reading news

Director’s Notes

My Vox Vergere journey began with Ben Raanan asking me to direct, and once I accepted to create a prompt for the playwrights. I sent this:

I'd love to have Vox be an exploration of love and joy.

Dionne Warwick sang "What the world needs now is love sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of."  I think there's a lot of truth to that.  Fear and division seem to be growing, but I live and thrive with love all around me and I think people need to be reminded of love--in ALL its forms.

I'm hoping the playwrights will explore how

  • love and joy change people, situations, and spaces.
  • love can be transformational
  • love is a superpower 
  • love can open or close us depending upon how it's transmitted
  • joy can be all-consuming
  • the loss of love or joy can create anti-heroes, super villains, or endless time in therapy

We then held auditions for a strong, versatile cast who would be able to rise to the variety the playwrights would give them.  Auditions were filled with a wealth of talented individuals. We cast 8 actors.  The playwrights were given information about the actors and writing commenced.

Vox and Vergere are Latin words meaning “voice” and “I turn.”  Can I recognize the power within the disabled community by recognizing and affirming the differences?  Can you turn and find love and joy in ourselves and others? Can we turn and create atmospheres that are inclusive, playful, kind?

Yes! That is the story of Phamaly! Throughout the rehearsal process, love, joy, and laughter were ever present.  Throughout, the performers brought their craft, creativity, and collaboration, and together we bring you this show.

Thank you to my fantastic cast, assistant director, and stage management team.  I am grateful for your dedication, your bravery, your work ethic, and your willingness to play.  Thank you to the Phamaly staff for making me feel welcome. Thank you, Ben, for this opportunity. And, thank you for supporting live theatre!

-Betty Hart, Director