This month I intended to write in depth about a number of exciting events that are happening in the Twin Cities, and after a fashion I suppose I will. The thing is, this month I have been reminded why all of these wonderful events are out there to be seen. It is because of the people who dedicate themselves, often for little recognition and less remuneration, to the art of storytelling. Some use their bodies to get up in front of you and speak lines and move in rhythm to the music (or not), to act in a fashion that might raise your spirits or your ire, to inspire you to reflect or to engage. Some use their carpentry skills to build you a world of fantasy or reality, or their sewing skills to create the costumes that inhabit that world. Some use light to paint the world of the play with sparks and shadows, to set the mood or focus your attention. Some use their computers to create, first in black and white letters, what others will later render in 3D. Some create a soundscape that tells a story all its own while at the same time completing a world that would otherwise fall flat. Some create and teach the movement and the songs that will get your toes tapping long after you leave the theater. Some stand with both feet in this mire of creation and finesse the action, conduct the energy and hold together all the teams until the final piece falls into place, the audience. Only then, and quite suddenly, theater is born.
I am so deeply reminded of these things this month because I, and the theater community, have lost two friends who profoundly embodied the true storytelling spirit of this art form. One a beautiful, young lighting designer, with particular disdain for shoes who oft sported tangerine hair, and the other a retired professor and mentor to many, who had something of a coffee and cigarette habit, a wry sense of humor and a vocabulary to shame the Bard himself. Both of whom gave me, and the community, moments of magic and laughter, mundane daily life and sorrow, beauty and inspiration.
Some work I think they would have enjoyed is listed below, with links to more detailed information. In recognizing how very big our little world of theater is, let us take a moment to be grateful and remember.
In loving memory of Jen DeGolier and Dr. (Doc) Donald Peake.