I saw Tina Howe’s Painting Churches in the early 1980’s in New York. It was one of a few trips I made to the Big Apple during my university days. That afternoon (I think it was a matinee), the group split up to pursue our different theatrical tastes.
I knew I was watching something unique and excellent, but did not have the theatrical vocabulary to articulate it at the time. “How was the play?”, my friends asked. “Good”.
All these years later, I happen to have a poster for the show. (I was lucky enough to obtain it from Toronto’s TheatreBooks when it closed up shop.)
Apart from Howe’s wondrous script about an artist and her loopy parents, I got to see the luminous Marian Seldes at work. I didn’t know how good she was until I got to confirm it seeing her in a number of films, and again in NYC in “Beckett/Albee” in the 2000’s. By then I knew what I was watching. I remembered the matinee I first viewed her in the early 80’s.
My only regret is selling a bunch of Playbills from those early days in New York, Painting Churches among them.
Glad I have the poster.