As we all continue to shelter in place, or slowly move out of our confines, placing one toe in the water. As we witness hurricanes and wild fires and god knows what outcome with the leadership of our country. Like most artists, I have been stopped from performing, except for a lovely concert with my husband in our barn with all of the doors wide open, last Saturday, performed to 25 socially distanced loyal fans of our company, Madison Lyric Stage. We had so much fun singing and telling stories, and yes, we even sang Islands in the Stream with hairbrushes! And the evening began with my singing Come in from the Rain, by Melissa Manchester, and right as I sang the words Come in from the rain, the skies opened up and down came torrential rains, then by the third song it was gone. Now that is having nature and art in the same room!
I am incredibly lucky! We are both healthy and safe, unlike so many who don’t even have the basics to live on, and all of my fellow artists, who have lost all income and all artistic output for the time being. But I am seeing some really exciting things happening: people making things, singing things , doing things, making art! I can’t wait to see what the huge out pouring of art will be from this year! When March came and we had to cancel our theatre season, I stopped seeing my students in both NYC and in CT. I felt stuck. I felt isolated and left behind. Also, being a mature performer, I began to wonder, will I get to perform my bucket list of repertoire? For my students I felt fear that they wouldn’t be developed and have the success that they so deserve! But, then I sat down and started writing….and writing. Now, I have been writing for a long time, and I actually wrote some adaptations of plays I was directing, wrote some libretti for pieces being composed for me, and men translated some operas from German to English, that I was directing and producing. then in 2018 I wrote a one man show about the life of German tenor Max Lorenz, which I performed in CT and was planning on performing in some other locations during this year, which…will happen eventually…hopefully. I needed to do something in addition to being of use to people for whatever basics that were needed. I needed to make something! So I decided I needed to write a play! So I did! After five months of writing I am proud to say that I am workshopping my new play: A Memory of Truth?
The play examines the harsh realities that women face, and the patterns that seem to follow them and in fact end up defining them. A Memory of Truth? explores the forbidden world of betrayal, abuse and family loyalty. It is rigorous, harrowing, poignant and hopefully funny all at once, and while it is not a musical, it includes music performed by the characters, inspired by traditional hymns, Gregorian chant, Mozart and Fauré.
I am so thrilled to be able to work through this pandemic in such a creative way. So in addition to sitting on pins and needles about the pandemic and vaccines and the election, and oh yeah the asteroid that is heading this way, I can look back to memories of my life and see artists work and make art! Let’s continue to make things. we must always make things whether pretty or ugly, happy or sad. Just continue to grow and live!
I have three magnificent singing actresses: Patty Carver, Rebecca Ellis and Val Moranto to develop these complex roles, and Nathaniel Baker composing and arranging the music. We will spend two weeks this September workshopping and developing this piece. Our hope is to have it presented in full in June of 2021, with Madison Lyric Stage.
Here’s a trailer!