I composed this a while ago for a writing brief and thought some fellow NTWCommunity members and other visitors may be interested in reading it. Hopefully many productions by NTW and its members this year will become physical evidence to support my case. Enjoy!

Dear Child of the Future,

Never stop playing.

Never let someone tell you that the stories inside your head, the tales that you enact with dolls or action figures, are ridiculous. Your creation is perfect. Have faith that these stories are your key to a world of wonder.

I officially became an adult quite recently but I still long to explore that world of wonder every day. I don’t want to be told that our society has better things to worry about. That no one has time to play, to create, to imagine. I hope that in the future, theatres still exist to give you those moments of magic that all children should enjoy while they are young and that adults can continue to be moved by as they get older. I hope it is still possible to find excitement in the building beat of a drum, to find comfort in the motion of a dance and to find reassurance in the words of a poem.

May your imagination never leave you. May you never have writer’s block for long. May it only last for fleeting moments which lead to your next moment of brilliance.

I often struggle to think of my next idea. I inhibit my imagination. I find it difficult to play without censoring myself. Maybe I’m still scared of people calling me ridiculous. It often seems that much of society thinks that creativity is not quite worthy enough to garner its wholehearted support.

Please don’t always believe those widespread messages.

Believe the part of society that leaves the theatre with curious minds and a glint in their eyes.

Believe the artists who seek to reflect the turmoil of society alongside its ubiquitous beauty.

Believe the teenagers who find expression in fashion and music and the babies who begin dancing as they begin to walk.

They are aware, whether they realise it or not, that a life without the arts is a very sad life. That without play and creation, life never properly progresses, we cannot develop as human beings and we can never question and explore what it means to be 'us' in quite the same way.

Now it is time for me to admit something- I used to talk to trees. There, I said it, call me ridiculous if you will. Perhaps it is a little crazy and I’m certainly glad I have not continued the habit into my adult years. However, I often wish I still had that imagination, that connection with the beauty in this world.

We live in times when practicality is cherished and definitive functionality is valued. Yet this is a time when we also need that beauty in our lives, that imagination for what the future might be if we have the courage to make it so.

So child, I hope that you are reading this in a world where that magic that can't be described as practical is cherished and where the activities that are far from definitively functional are valued. Keep playing, keep imagining, keep creating stories. This wonder is perfect so cling onto it as long as you can. However, you may have to stop talking to trees in a few years- in public, at least!

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Comment by Alan Samuel on February 25, 2013 at 14:37

Thanks for the letter. 

I am glad I've never stopped playing.

Comment by Brent Morgan on February 22, 2013 at 18:06

This was a loverly unexpected addition to my day.

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