Brilliant, Solid Colors

Months later, I finally finished Christina Stead’s 500 page tome “The Man Who Loved Children” (1940)- and the title really does refer to love, without any unsettling irony worthy of today’s salacious headlines.

Herewith, some gems*:

“Sam heard nothing but the crepitations of the arboreal night.”

“The tempests of July and the swamped earth and flooded rivers had come to wash away the sorrows of Henny: headstones sank in the graveyard, and the new earth piled over her fell in. Towards the end of July, it was as if Henny too had stormed, but in another room in the universe, which was now under lock and key.”

“Everyone had an outline, and brilliant, solid colors.”

(*Besides, I had to read it. It’s among my favourite author’s (Anne Tyler) favourites.)

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#Diverse Characters

Working on a script for possible school audience. Am aware of creating Anglo-Saxon names, knowing any of our diverse (Middle Eastern, Asian) students could play them. But the reverse? A Caucasian student playing someone named, say, Patel? In a production of Wilde’s “…Earnest”, a girl of Indian heritage played Gwendolyn (or Cecily?), complete with English accent. But a Caucasian student playing “Patel”? With accent? I’m not sure we’re there yet.

The Privilege of Pessimism

“I think to not be optimistic is just about the most privileged thing you can be. If you can be pessimistic, you are basically deciding that there’s
no hope for a whole group of people who can’t afford to think that way.”
– Ophelia Dahl

How long have we known each other??

When choosing a photo for this post, I decided to go with my shot of the marquee for Three Tall Women, currently dazzling audiences on Broadway. It’s Edward Albee’s meditation on his adoptive mother, but the conceit of the play also makes it a meditation on time. Three women appear to be possibly family- grandmother, mother, and daughter- or another relationship. They are revealed to be the same woman, at three different stages of her life, sharing the stage simultaneously. What would you say to your 60 hear old self? Or 90? Or 30? Or vice versa?
A small meditation on the theatre, and the passage of time, struck me the past couple of days. It was my slightly exhausting but satisfying pleasure to help organize and helm a high school drama festival. In addition to school performances, students got to attend workshops on everything from Stanislavski to Stage Combat to the Song as Monologue. An old friend of mine from early musical theatre days at the University of Toronto led the Song as Monologue class. It was wonderful to have her involved, and I know the students benefited from her experience.
Thinking back to how long ago we first met each other on stage, I asked her if she ever thought that, all these years later, we’d be…. I started to say “still connected by theatre”, but she cut me off, and finished the sentence with one word: “…old??”

No Longer the Cruelest Month

Stepped out in winter coat,
Got sweaty helping in Earth Day litter clean-up
removed layers right to t-shirt

Marked papers on a park bench
instead of a living room couch
cap on
instead of tuque
sun block (SPF 50?)
First
hopefully not only
day of spring