Those of you who follow these posts know how I occasionally treat myself to an Artist’s Date–that is a date with moi. It’s an opportunity to give my overworked and often recalcitrant muse a break, a distraction as it were.
For me, there is nothing my muse likes better than attending live theatre. (That’s with an “re”, dudes, the way it was meant to be.)
There is a history here, and it begins at Whitman College, winter of 1966-67. My freshman year to date had been one epic disappointment after another. I was a square peg and all the holes were round. The studies were challenging, the social scene unnavigable for a hick like me. But I had signed up for one activity–volunteering a couple times a week at Whitman’s amazing Harper Joy Theatre. It became, for me, the one thing I truly looked forward to in the week. I am pretty certain that little gig allowed me to stay marginally sane for two academic years.
Apparently, they liked me too. Somebody found some grant money. Imagine my surprise when they actually asked me to work in the office in exchange for filthy lucre. I quit my cafeteria job to do something that, I was learning, I loved. I loved the people most of all, the off-the-wall craziness amongst the cast and crew that is unique to theatre. Nowhere but in theatre have I found the ups and downs, the laughter and tears, and the emotional bonding both on and off stage. Hell, I wasn’t even a part of the productions, but I was one of them and it was all for one and one for all. By God, I was home!
And there were the plays–Oliver, Marate-Sade, Oh What a Lovely War, Cabaret, just to name a few. I saw all of them. On a weekend night, if I didn’t have plans (which was most of the time), I’d wander over to Harper Joy and fill a vacant seat. If a friend came to town, we’d go to the theatre to see whatever was playing. I couldn’t see those plays too many times. I never tired of them. And I never have.
One thing you will notice in upcoming blogs is my return to theatre. I will be reviewing the occasional play on these pages. It will not take the place of my regular blogs about Story, writing, or Emma Golden’s many adventures. Rather, I look at it as a part of the whole, the whole being Story.
Theatre is all about Story and the myriad ways humans interact. It is sitting in a room, invisible, and hearing all the best gossip. It is folklore, it is art, is the dramatic arc we novelists all so appreciate. I am embracing it, and by God, I am home!