“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 Maguire’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 Wicked’s ninth company worldwide, and the original Broadway company celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.
But the greatest reward has been the audiences love for our show; to hear constantly how enormously it has impacted them. A young Palestinian American Muslim woman from Brooklyn wrote about Elphaba: Her 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?
Throughout all of Wicked’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.com