Friday, July 29, 2011

I Have This Suddenly Brilliant Idea.

     I have been watching the news with ever increasing feelings of gloom and depression. The United States, starting with naked greed and galloping stupidity, augmented by indifference and pomposity, has been in a monetary free fall for some time, heading toward a financial depression the likes of which this world has never seen.

     Even today – moments ago – I heard that Congress is debating a bill that, in theory, would keep the country from defaulting on debts that will become due in just a few days. Only – funny this – it’s already acknowledged that the bill will be voted down after the tedious debaters have been sated.

     Here’s my first idea. When a foreign country acts in a way we consider irresponsible, we impose sanctions against them. At this dramatic point in time wouldn't it be quite reasonable for the UN to invite Poland or France or Spain to come over and sink a few concrete barges in New York harbor until we come to our senses?

     Or – here’s an even better idea. All the people “in charge,” from the President on down, keep telling me that they all work for me, and that if I’m not happy with their work, I’m certainly encouraged to vote someone else into office.

     Well, I gotta tell ya, I am NOT happy with your work, and I’ve tried that “voting someone else into office” thing, and that hasn’t seen much in the way of change, either.

     So here’s my second idea. If the Congress and the Senate and the Executive branch all work for me, sorry guys, your efforts are appreciated but not good enough. In other words, you are fired. No, actually those ARE the words. Your services are no longer required. As of today. Now. Please turn in your keys at the front desk by four o’clock this afternoon, and your personal property may be picked up in cardboard boxes on the loading dock starting at nine tomorrow morning.

     At the same time, suddenly we have a large number of employment opportunities. “Line forms on the left,” we can say, and “no experience necessary.” (Certainly that would be the truth.) Everybody is on a 90 day trial period. Love it!

     Or finally … if all else fails, we look up the person or organization or business who is in fact running Great Britain these days and tell them “we were only kidding” a couple of hundred years ago and “couldn’t they take a joke” and “it was all just a misunderstanding” and stuff like that … (God knows they’ve bought our line before. Maybe if we promise to give India back to them … or Nebraska.)



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Half the circle complete,

This is the way it begins and ends - bare stage. I paced off every inch, side to side, front to back - walls here, doors here, furniture ... before the first tape mark was placed marking an entrance, I could see it all - every stick in place.

Here IS every stick in place, Oddly, this is very close to my original design, and a first. Normally I oversee day-to-day construction, making changes where inspiration moves me. In this case I handed drawings,color swatches and various cryptic smudges over to artist Kat Wexler, and - because life got in the way, I basically walked away until she proudly/hesitantly led me into the completed setting last night. 

I had pointed out craggy texture from a few of my  favorite Max Parrish paintings, and asked "Can you do the walls like this?"  She could and did. The walls you see here are not painted. Instead, various bright colors were mixed with wet plaster, and the colors were trowled on (rather than painted). 

Wow. I love it.

But the bottom line is this; does it work? Granted, this is a Steinbeck work, dark by nature. But is it too oppressive, too distracting, or does it enhance the mood? Here are a couple of rehearsal cast pictures. You tell me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've been writing on scene three of THE TEAPOT COLLECTOR for about three hours now. I don't know why. I woke up out of my usual mildly fitful sleep with dialogue going through my mind and I knew I wouldn't rest until I got it down on paper - (or whatever the electronic equivalent to paper might be.)

My dog Willie mumbled something under his breath as he begrudgingly vacated the corner of the couch I claim as my own. He watched me for awhile until his eyes glazed over and he went to sleep sitting up. At some point he must have fallen over, because all I see sticking up from the far side of the couch pillow are two hind paws and a bit of tail. Something else to add to my colorful resume - I bore dogs.

So. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that for whatever reason, I'm writing again. I thought I never would.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


     The funeral went well. (And you may certainly interpret that comment to mean any funeral that is now behind you, has gone well.) I lost count of the number of cards and emails I received. I invited five dear people to support (protect) me, and straight out lie for me if I did something more inane or inappropriate than usual. In addition, well over a hundred of my theatre friends attended the funeral. I have not received any complaints about silverware missing, but I don’t recall much in the way of silverware being there in the first place. Looking back, I was – and still am – beyond expressing how I feel. Absolutely … I am a very private person. This outpouring of love falls well beyond my experience, so I have little with which to compare it (and, unusual for me, utterly at a loss for words.)

     I love my daughter, miss her already. But she would be the first to remind me that this funeral business is morbid at best, and then scold me (with one of those looks) if I thought of her any way other than the way we always were together – at ease to speak or not, because we understood each other in a way that didn’t need words. And she would remind me that we will meet again, be together again soon enough.

So when I think of her, she is always smiling, so I smile as well.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Rachel Mock

                                     This is Rachel Mock.

She is young, attractive, witty, smart, shy in a most charming way. Five minutes after you meet her you will fall in love with her. Guaranteed.

Unless somebody gives her a sword …

Or a gun … (photo by Craig Lawrence)

Rachel is the fight coordinator for our production of OF MICE AND MEN, and she is very good at what she does.  

Every once in awhile I've been fortunate enough to inlist the services of just the right person for the job. Every once in awhile I've been fortunate enough to actually recognize greatness on the way up. 

Watch for this one. You will see her again.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Teapots and daughters

Because I never saw a teapot I didn't want, my daughter gave me this one for Christmas ....

.. and because she wanted to be sure I understood the sentiment behind the gift, she made and included the sign.