The Drama of Voting

By Shelley Laabs Weber | Oct 29 2018

Voting is a lot like attending a theatre performance.

First you “purchase your ticket” or register to vote and receive your voter registration card.  You make that first step to deciding that you are definitely going to participate in this activity and arrange to do so. Maybe you are like me and you enjoying making an event out of it, planning your day around voting, inviting a friend to come along, or inviting your whole staff to vote together and then enjoy lunch together.

Then on voting day, I get those same butterflies in my tummy walking up to the polling place as I do going into a new performance.

Excitement. Suspense. Shivering with antici…pation. [i]

That feeling that something big is going to happen. That you are going to make something happen, or that, you will be “in the room where it happens.”[ii]

You walk into the polling place and the curtain rises on the pivotal moment at the voting machine, making beautiful music with the other voters through that electronic beeping noise as you select your candidates, check your ballot, and place your vote. The costume change as you carefully place your “I Voted” sticker in the correct location on your shirt. The flourish as you exit, stage left, pursued by a bear.[iii]

And after an appropriate amount drama, the last act as the votes are tabulated, the final scene is shared with the public on election night. The tears, the joy, the emotions flowing, the applause – just like the end of a stellar performance. All (hopefully) followed by an epic cast party just like any good opening night.

But all cheesy comparisons aside, I am passionate about voting.

Voting is your voice. It is our constitutional right to make ourselves heard and be able to participate in choosing our elected officials as a way to make change.

Art is also a voice and a way to make change.

Hair, Rent, Spring Awakening—all of the these are big Broadway shows that drew national attention to an issue and made change. But every day in every community smaller messages are being sent by the artists that live and work there.

Spurs Jesus, the ever-changing I Love Tacos, the cultural and city specific work being done in art galleries and theatres all across San Antonio repeating the messages of importance for the people who live and work in San Antonio.

As they say, all the world’s a stage…[iv]

So vote.  Because this is one script that you can help write.

[i] Richard O’Brien, Rocky Horror Picture Show

[ii] Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

[iii] Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale, Act 3 Scene 3

[iv] Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7


Shelley Laabs Weber

Shelley Laabs Weber

Shelley has been working with The Magik Theatre since 2014. Prior to Magik, Shelley worked as an elementary school teacher in SAISD and as an arts administrator in New York and Washington DC. She is a member of Actors Equity, Junior League of San Antonio, a Trinity alumnus, and a graduate of the Andeavor Executive Leadership Program.

View all posts by Shelley Laabs Weber

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