Check out cover art for my play “Two-Hander”, courtesy of a student of mine. Thank you Sanam.
Do career high school teachers have teenagers in their lives longer than parents do?
A pondering, as another school year winds down….
The drawing is my graphic response to friends who tell teachers, in May, “Summer is just around the corner.”
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??”
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
instead of tuque
sun block (SPF 50?)
hopefully not only
day of spring
Blame Glenda Jackson. I reserved tickets for Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women (he always has the name before and above the title) for Easter weekend.
New York is always extremes. The highs of theatre-going to the frequent degradation of the subway and elsewhere.
Subways aren’t for sleeping: meet “Brimstone” a subway gospel rapper. (Check Youtube). “Jesus loves you” in white letters on his black shirt, front and back, a large cross slung around his neck, made of palm leaves (it was Easter Sunday). Then a sermon for his subway ministry.
A young pianist plays electronic keyboard on the platform. Classical, then Pop: The Heart Does Go On, Theme from Love Story, The Sting (Scott Joplin)… he’s dressed to kill in a soft blue pastel suit. His father (?) sits on a bucket off to the the side. The most memorable aspect? He appears to be playing a video game on his phone at the same time as playing, without missing a note, (or a point.)
Subway peddlars are endless. Candy, clothes, and just plain panhandling, from all ages (a Vietnam vet, teenagers, and younger). A raging boom-box announces a dancer whose parting words are “I’m not homeless but I do better if I look it.”
Another low-point: mistaking a scalper in Times Square as staff for the TKTS half-price ticket booth. When it became clear to him I only wanted to know if I could get Sunday matinee tickets on Saturday, he told me I was wasting his time.
The last straw: a strategically placed snow storm right when my flight was to leave. Then it cleared up. But not before I had to take a much later flight home.
I prefer to dwell on the positive: the revival of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties (I understand a lot more than when I saw it in high school but still am mystified by parts); the transforming set of Afterglow (more than the titillating plot of an open relationship); and, best for last- Glenda Jackson, 81 (!) in Albee’s third Pulitzer Prize winner. I go on and on in my drama class about voice on stage. It was all she needed to be a Tall Woman. Actually got to meet her afterwards as she greeted fans, having her after-show cigarette (!). “Let the lady have her moment”, Security warned us. We did. She seemed not to be bothered by the question about returning to the stage after 23 years in politics. “It’s what I did,” she said between drags. Of course she can still do it.
I blame Glenda Jackson for another hectic, harried and totally worth-it Easter weekend jaunt in the Big Apple. Thanks Glenda.
Something ironic about reporting my quitting social media on a blog.
Today, I deleted my accounts on
Because of all the privacy concerns? It certainly made me rethink my usage.
I am not looking for work. I have not been on Pinterest in five years. I certainly don’t need to curate my reading online.
Is Facebook next? Not sure.
Twitter is it for me.
If there ever was a song I didn’t expect to hear twice in one day, on two different radio stations, it’s Andy Williams’s rendition of the theme from Love Story. (He sang it on The Muppet Show, though not with Kermit, I don’t think.)