Hidden Treasures


Well, folks, the flurry and frenzy of crossing the "t"s and dotting the "I"s for the HHA nominations is in the rear view mirror and the flurry and frenzy of the monster collaboration of the HHA lies ahead — it never seems to stop here @ tW. There are so many great initiatives to manage, pull together, and dream. But they all take a lot of work! Imagine endless tech. Yeah, that's how it seems most days chez tW. Thank goodness, I am proud of the work and proud of the mission. Loving what you do makes it easier to get up every day at 6AM.

But theatre is sometimes that gift we give ourselves — like taking time to stop and smell the roses. So I took the time a few weeks ago to go to the theatre. Sometimes the most beautiful, rare flowers bloom in unusual places.

By most standards, this producing group would qualify as a smaller theatre — limited resources, two person staff working feverishly for substandard wages in a shared rental building that was their fifth location in so many years. Nothing comes easy, I bet, yet they persevere year after year with mission and vision.

On this night, I was so grateful for their perseverance. What I saw on their stage touched my heart. On this night at this performance, I was able to escape some of the wizened, calculated theatre professional in me and was transported. I was excited. I was transfixed.

As their actors gained momentum and revealed their story, I began rooting for them. They became my heroes as they confronted each obstacle and moment in their story with honest, forthright decency. I swelled with emotion as their art and craft created people I wanted to know. I felt all those stirrings within me that feel alive and captivating, calling me to take on life with new vigor — all the things that have kept me optimistically going back to the theatre year after year. At curtain call, I leapt to my feet for an ovation of one. I didn’t care about anyone else’s opinion. I wanted to honor that moment for as long as I could.

It is a familiar feeling. For me, it’s the earmark of great theatre. When I get that feeling, it’s my version of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” or that “click in my head that makes me feel peaceful” like Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Only my recognition is not pornographic or drunk. . . just a euphoric transcendence that feeds me.

It made me ask, “What is it that makes us crave theatre? What keeps us going back?”

For me, I guess it is feeling I am in the presence of humanity. It is when I see a reflection of human beings overcoming our frailties to courageously stand for our values, our commitments, our love. It is when I see everyday souls in everyday situations (or maybe even bold heroes in magnificent circumstances) summoning more reserve than they imagine they possess to overcome all odds or stand in dignity as they fail.

Yeah, sure, sometimes I am dazzled by high kicks and fast turns. And I love to laugh. But it is this feeling of life that keeps me coming back. When I feel my heart grow a little bit, I know I have witnessed a sacred secret.

So, what turns you on about theatre?



04/01/2012 11:09pm
  Susan Maldon Stregack

Your message is beautiful and spot on. You have captured my feelings about theatre perfectly. To quote a line from Maud Hart Lovelace's "Betsy-Tacy" series of books, "It's a magical moment when the curtain goes up!" And by the way, you look great in the photo that accompanies your blog.


04/08/2012 08:20am


Thanks for the nice comment. I know your love for the theatre is deep and you passed that on to your two talented children.

Happy Holidays - good to hear from you.