One of the last live theatre experiences I was fortunate to have, before the Pacific Northwest self-quarantine process was implemented, was Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline (2017), staged at Portland Playhouse. Not only was the play itself engaging, powerful, and a vital piece of storytelling for our time – but the poem that is interwoven throughout the script also affected me viscerally; that poem is We Real Cool (1959), by Gwendolyn Brooks.
Spring's greetings, my fellow opinionated people!
This past holiday season, my job as a professional actor took me to the picturesque Sun Valley, Idaho. I was to appear in a stage play, a production of the recently published holiday hit, Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley. You know, the old Austen-ian story of high-class British folks running around a mansion - being in love, falling in love, and fighting off love. Feminist-forward, family-friendly fare. A perfect holiday story for this small, yet affluent mountain town. Though the process of building and performing this play was a fun one, it forced me to travel many hours from my home - away from my family, my people, my comforts. Additionally: on a "snow day" I couldn't travel more than a half-mile from my lodging, it was 12 degrees or below most nights, and I was housed in the childhood home of the famous(ly antisemitic) poet, Ezra Pound, which is currently inhabited by at least one ghost (who visited me my third night there, glowing and screaming at me at the foot of the bed, like a menacing and luminescent banshee). All these factors combined made for a bittersweet gumbo of isolation and cabin fever at times. Drinking to calm the nerves was a must most nights, if I'm being real honest.
COMMUNITY. What does that word mean to You, individually? Ask yourself...
Further musings on my 2nd viewing of BLACKkKLANSMAN: