Late this September I was finally able to resume working as the editor of Opening Stages. This brought me a wonderful feeling of relief and normality. It's very true that there is nothing like the lack of something to make you appreciate it. I had been away from work for several months because of a series of illnesses. First there was the usual respiratory complications and then a gall bladder infection of lethal severity. When I finally got home and started to recover I turned naturally to the things that have always given my life meaning. I discovered that work ranked high on this list for several reasons.
It gives me a sense of purpose and productivity. It enables me to interact with other people on a respectful collegial basis -- with my editorial board, with my contributing writers, and with my publisher. When I am doing work I have a sense of identity that gives me confidence to meet new people through email and telephone and comfortably relate to our international readership. Work also creates a structure for my time. And, of course, it pays.
This October we celebrated Disability Employment Month. Our focus in this issue of Opening Stages is on federal and national initiatives to promote careers in the performing arts for people with disabilities. The success of these efforts will depend on better education and better access. The barriers in these difficult economic times are formidable. But, as someone recently returned to the work force can testify, the rewards are great.