Robert Lynn

Director and Treasurer

I first encountered ADT in 2004, when I was asked to prepare its application for tax exemption. I’m a CPA and – more recently – an attorney. A professional acquaintance who was then on the Board sought me out because nonprofits’ tax compliance is one of my main practice areas. I’ve prepared the organization’s tax filings ever since, through several changes in my own working life. Three years ago, I joined the Board.

I spent buckets of money studying actors’ movement and ballet when I was living in New York and not succeeding in show business. That was some time ago, but I still take being an audience member very seriously, for any performance. ADT’s works deserve no less than all the energy and focus I can bring to them. They give me nightmares, that is, they succeed fabulously. At what?

Asked to describe what jazz is, Satchmo said, if you gotta ask you ain’t never gonna know. I think that was a challenge. Keep listening and the time will come when something makes you gasp and say to yourself, this is important and it moves me.

As a Board member, I’m supposed to be articulate about ADT’s vision, but I continually throw up my hands and say, watch the performances. I could mention the dancers’ connection to the floor (rather, down through the floor drawing on something below), the overwhelmingly tactile music (I think it could leave a sunburn), but just go, watch…

In Neel, there’s a moment that I perceive as an insurrection or uprising. It’s an evocation of a unifying, sexless, colorless humanity in that resistance to oppression. That it may take as starting point very particular stories of subjugation and crimes against women of color makes it no less universal. Unavoidably, I see it through a white, never-gone-hungry, northern-states American man’s eyes. Women will find more complex meaning than I do. But that moment, and others in just about all of ADT’s work, conjures something that ought to be – not blindness to differences, but embrace of something shared.

Outrage, call to action, follows from realization that what ought to be, is not.