So, I recently wrote a play while we were in complete lockdown. It is a story based on my life and journey as a human. It is an homage to the three women who essentially raised me. It was a joy to write this, while also painful in many ways.
I had the great joy of hearing and seeing my work as a reading, on Sunday, September 20th. After a week of socially distanced rehearsals, a workshop with three tremendous singing actors, Patty Carver, Rebecca Ellis and Val Moranto. For this play with music I had the joy of Nathaniel Baker, who wrote a beautiful score merging bluegrass style hymns and parts of the Requiem Mass. I also had the pleasure of performing in my play, A Memory of Truth? I have the great luck to have an enormous barn, which is well-fitted to performing and with large French doors that open all around, to provide an outside environment, providing safety for the audience and performers.
Sunday’s result was such a complete joy for me. It was rather chilly in CT on Sunday, and the audience of 23 were bundled, masked and spaced apart from each other, some inside and some outside. I spent hours organizing the chairs and measuring measuring measuring. The actors didn’t move and we were all more than 6 feet apart, and more than 12 feet from the audience. It was for me a magical experience. The audience was attentive and stayed in the 47 degree temperature, for the nearly 3 hours that the play lasted.
Was this a large concert hall or broadway theatre that seats thousands of people, or even hundreds? No, but what was it? It was theatre! We made art in the barn! It was a free performance and an invited-only audience. But it was art! People seemed very pleased with the rather difficult piece to watch, but what was most important was that while bundled and separated, they still watched and appreciated together! They laughed, they cried and applauded! Art survives and will flourish. This is such an incredibly difficult time for all, and also for art. But, I think artists are out there, making art at a pace that is no less than stupefying. In this time of such tremendous loss of life, spirit and a loss of so much that we as Americans have always held dear, art is still there, maybe only 23 people in a barn…but we are there! I can’t wait to see what comes out of all of this!
A fully staged production of A Memory of Truth? is planned in CT with Madison lyric Stage for June of 2021, as part of their main season!