Henry Swift ’18 – New York is the capital of the world, it’s the Big Apple, it’s America’s metropolis. It is a melting pot that brings people from every walk of life in the same area and forces them to cooperate. New York is America’s theater capital because it is so diverse. It has shaped the American theater since there was an American theater. Broadway is big and beautiful and showy, but the real action in theater is happening off Broadway. The off-Broadway shows that we saw moved me more because they explored more emotions and issues. Off-Broadway shows like Nat Turner in Jerusalem used theater as a tool to explore issues that Broadway shows cannot touch.

The crew in front of the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

I learned that New York lives up to the stereotypes. Everyone walks fast, no one makes eye contact, everything is kind of dirty, the people are not friendly, but it is diverse, and no one cares what you do. This is all true because it has to be. The city is huge so people walk fast to get to where they’re going, no one makes eye contact because they are surrounded by strangers, it is diverse and accepting because there are so many different ethnicities represented in the city that people do not have time to care about racial differences. New York is New York because it has to be.

New York was brilliant, it was loud and bright and private and overwhelming. I learned that the appearance of a show or restaurant does not tell us about its quality. The worst looking restaurants and the most modest shows were my favorites. Teachers have been telling me that looks are deceiving since I was a first grader, but the trip gave me a better idea of what they meant. This trip helped through another step of my education and helped me to think critically about what makes something worthwhile.