“Wonder will always get us there…”

What a joy Silent Sky has been. Some shows just have such an affect on people – audience, cast, designers, crew – that you don’t want them to end. Watching this beautiful script by Lauren Gunderson do that to people over the last 5 weeks has been wonderful and, now that we have reached the closing performance, I find myself feeling the same way.

The sense of wonder, of exploration and perseverance from this show is beautiful and inspiring. The sheer joy it evokes, that sense that “Anything Is Possible”, is just so beautifully interwoven with the loving bittersweet reminder “But… we don’t have forever… so Savor Everything.”

Working with the entire production team on this show has been an amazing journey. Telling the story of Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming – true pioneers in their field who persevered and changed the world around them despite incredible resistance – has been an absolute gift, and one of the highlights of my career so far. I offer a giant THANK YOU to the many wonderful people who helped to make it happen!

Because the real point… is seeing something bigger. And knowing we’re a part of it, if we’re lucky. In the end that is a life well-lived. Because thank God there’s a lot out there bigger than me.

-Henrietta Leavitt, SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson

Breaking out of a funk….

Okay – This is fascinating! A few years ago, in Amsterdam, they had to excavate a riverbed that ran through the city. During the excavation, archeologists took advantage of the dig to see what they could find. What they found was an amazing array of things lost into the river dating from now and going back thousands of years, and they catalogued them all!

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Dice, dated between 1500 and 1200 AD! Some gambler lost THAT bet!

Check it out, this is incredible.  

In other news, we’re about to open the final show of our 12th season at Williamston Theatre.  We started previews last night of Memoir and it’s the kind of show that the word “Delightful” was invented for!  Work has been wonderful. I had the chance to direct a terrific show, Significant Other, at the MSU Summer Circle.  That was an absolute treat.  Script was fun, it was outside and fun, and the cast and design team were top notch – truly a bunch of young professionals now graduated with MFA’s and heading out to what I know will be great careers in the industry.

Despite work being really good, and family life being wonderful (one kid in college, one graduating high school, and an amazing wife keeping me sane), it’s been a challenge finding the motivation to write – either in my personal journal or here, on this site.  It’s been frustrating, because I’ve been in a bit of a slump.  A handful of life things and personal things, stuff we all deal with, have been weighing on me.  Along with those, the incredibly divisive and vitriolic political mess here in the U.S. has just left me feeling burned out, and I’ve also (either because of that stuff of just along with it!) allowed myself to get more chubby and out of shape physically than I’ve been in a while, and that’s been frustrating – it’s also just not good for me, especially with the variety of health issues I already have –  so that’s been weighing on me too. (Hah. “Weighing.” Literally!)  So all of that has meant that lately I’ve found myself MISSING that sense of loving life that I normally have – and have had for especially the last few years, now that I’m in my extra-innings of life!

Fortunately, life and family and friends and the universe have been there giving me reasons to perk back up.  Spending lots of QFT lately, which has been nice, doing some more bike riding and exercising has been good for me.  I’m now prepping to direct our fall show, Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson, which is a GORGEOUS piece of theatre and I am absolutely thrilled to be working on it with an amazing team of people!  That, and a handful of other projects which are coming up, are pretty exciting.  I *am* getting nervous because in a couple of months my son is heading to Germany for a year long Exchange Program: I’m thrilled for him, but I will worry the entire year he is gone!

OH! Plus – I’ve got a little vacation time coming up. More on that later, but it’s going to be a wonderful trip and I can not wait!

So – thanks for reading! And if YOU’RE having any kind of slump, like I’ve had, hang in there.  Look around, find your joy and embrace it.  Then go help others find theirs – I think that helps!

 

So many good things

The last couple of weeks have been been busy, and full of wonderful good things!

I celebrated my 4-month “getting out of the hospital” anniversary! Man, it still feels odd to say that. Not the “getting out” part, but the whole hospital thing. I mean, it’s still so much to process, and sometimes it almost doesn’t seem real, like it’s just something you read about, or might see on TV. But, I’m getting better, getting strength back, and have found myself more and more grateful for my life, and the people in it, every single day. That’s part of why today I’m posting about all sorts of good things!

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Stuff to celebrate:

*I’ve been able to stop dialysis! While not 100% healed! my kidneys have healed enough so that I don’t need to have my blood cleaned three times a week! This is such a giant weight lifted off my family and I, it’s hard to even describe. It’s a good thing.

*Getting to see 3 terrific pieces of theatre recently. The Last Romance at The Purple Rose, Carousel at Encore Musical Theatre, and Hamlet at The Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Had a great time at them all, and hopefully will see more soon!

*Getting a visit from Laura Thaisen! Laura was one of Williamston Theatre’s first apprentices, and she’s gone on to become a professional stage manager in Minneapolis, and we’re extremely proud of her. It was so great to have her visit, and to meet her significant other just weeks before they became officially engaged!

*We broke our yearly attendance record at Williamston Theatre! This is a wonderful thing, and we’re hoping that it’s a trend we’ll keep doing for the next few years.

*I did ten push-ups. Yes, ten. Go ahead and laugh, but a couple of months ago it was all I could do to hold myself up. This week I walked over a mile with my son and my dogs, and I did ten push-ups! Little steps, but they make me wanna take more steps.

*Guardians Of The Galaxy. Awesome. I am Groot. Enough said.

*We had a fabulous family weekend “up North”, playing games and napping and chatting and eating. We went to an entertainment center where we got to race go karts, and drive bumper cars, and I’m not gonna lie, I had a moment. A moment where I was driving my bumper car around, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I look up, and my parents and wife are sitting and watching (and taking video!), and they were laughing, and so happy, and every bumper car was filled with family: my kids, my sister, my nephews… We’re all smashing into each other and laughing our fool heads off, and the sense of wonderfulness was just, overwhelming.

This is the part where I want to write something about not taking things for granted, and celebrating life every chance you get, and how many times since getting out of the hospital I’ve said to myself “I almost missed this!” – those lessons and more are bouncing around in my head, and my heart, and I’m still processing them in so many ways, many times each day. Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to write coherently about them…

Until then, friends, remember to tell the people you love how you feel, take joy in every well spent moment, and revel in how many moments truly are well spent.