There is more than meets the eye to the name Transcendence … When Amy Miller first came up with the name, it was inspired by that moment in acting, singing, or dancing when you feel completely alive and connected. And the underlying questions of the company as we formed it were, “Can we extend that feeling into our lives, into the community, and into the world? Can we live life more fully, more connected, and more with a sense of wonder and magic?” That is the foundation of what we’ve been endeavoring to do ever since. We are fueled by the quest to create moments of transcendence both onstage and off, and it’s crucial to know that the offstage moments are just as important, if not more important, than those onstage.
We always ask ourselves, “How can we make this show transcendent?” “How can we make our kids camp transcendent?” “How can we make our volunteer experience transcendent?” and even, “How can we make the port-a-potties in the park transcendent?” … which if you’ve been to one of our summer performances, you’ll now know why we have inspiring quotes in the port-a potties.
This all leads to unforgettable moments, magic, inspiration, and ultimately, to transformation. Sometimes, that transformation is large … like helping to save a state park, and other times that transformation is small … like a community member strumming a guitar, they haven’t picked up in 40 years and beginning to play it every night.
One of our volunteers came up with the perfect term to describe it. She called it “The Transcendence Effect.”
We have so many stories of The Transcendence Effect in action … stories of new works of art being created by community members, artists collaborating in NYC, patrons coming to our events beyond all odds, kids campers becoming interns, interns getting on Broadway, Broadway performers singing for fire relief, and even the story of this one co-Executive Director falling for this one Transcendence actress who became the love of his life. (Oops … did that get a little personal?)
It may sound a bit trite, but we are endeavoring to change the world one show tune at a time. One song can lead to one smile, leading to one embrace, and this ripple can become a wave of ever-expanding good in the world. It’s about changing the energy, awakening the possibilities, living life like we really mean it, and taking nothing for granted … because truly, every moment counts.
I encourage you to join us this summer and take your place under the stars. Together, we’ll raise our voices (and our glasses) with the spirit of what it means to be alive. Remember that even the smallest of interactions can be the beginning of something very powerful. I hope to see you soon as we create a million more moments of Transcendence together and rejoice in where they lead us next.
-Stephan Stubbins, Co-executive Director and CMO