“I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so.Some things I cannot change but ’till I try, I’ll never know.I think I’ll try defying gravity and you can’t pull me down.”
So sings the lead character, Elphaba, in my Broadway musical Wicked.
Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed about working in the theatre. When I set out professionally, the one thing I wanted to do above all else was to produce a Broadway musical. My career opportunities took me into the film industry instead, yet despite having earned great success, I never lost that lifelong dream.
Not content to accept the limits that historically defined film producers, almost two decades into my career, I embarked on my dream when I endeavored to bring to life on stage a novel for which I had great passion: Gregory Maguireâ€™s Wicked. The project was a great risk for everyone involved, but our love for the story and belief in its theatrical potential drove us. I just opened Wickedâ€™s ninth company worldwide, and the original Broadway company celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.
But the greatest reward has been the audienceâ€™s love for our show; to hear constantly how enormously it has impacted them. A young Palestinian American Muslim woman from Brooklyn wrote about Elphaba: â€œHer hardships paralleled the hardships and scrutiny I have had to endure. I never thought that my life could be portrayed up on stage. I never thought that the theatre could move me as much as it has.â€?
Throughout all of Wickedâ€™s blockbuster triumph, it is these moments that mark the real achievement of my dream.
Marc Platt is the producer of Wicked, the Legally Blonde films, and Empire Falls. www.wickedthemusical.comÂ