That mystical violet light on the horizon before sunrise. Restless. So much going on. So much has been achieved. Oklahoma! was performed for its final audience Sunday evening. It felt like a world that should never come to an end. For all its physical beauty, technical accomplishment, I was moved by those behind the scenes and in the scenes giving it life, giving it soul. Humanity. For all its flaws, and it is flawed, the individuals involved and connected in it have given it the spirit of: everything is going to be alright. Everything is going to play out as it should. All is well. All is good. Hope, comforting, warm. For these are difficult, tragic times for many in our nation and countries across our planet. Disturbing for me, the sense of helplessness to do anything about it. My faith tells me to simply do the best you can with what you have. Having this profession of making theatre, I have people to believe in, trust, care about. And praise!
Watching the closing show Sunday night like it was the first time, I see how Greg Hofmann calibrates lighting so sensitively from this moment to that, without a word from me, how stage manager Sarah Gammage calls the cues for such so beautifully imperceptibly. How Scott Davis’ scenic design at once bold and elegant, minimal yet everything, takes on being another character in the play. Theresa Ham’s clothes outfit the men perfectly worn, sweaty-dirty, rugged and handsome, the women; poetry in motion, their skirts swirling, lyrical and lovely dancing Katie Spelman’s breathtaking dances! Stunning dancers and singers in tandem with the lush strains from the open pit as Tom Vendafreddo conducts our orchestra of top notch musicians playing what for me has become the most beautiful score we have attempted yet. Rodgers and Hammerstein are honored grandly, and we are all privileged to sit here and attend their masterpiece the way they heard it when they wrote it. Over seventy years ago. Timeless. This.
I see Greg’s ideas, and what Scott visualizes, and what Theresa’s idea is there and Katie’s ideas are here and what Tommy is saying…I fill up with all that they give (and that of others as well), add Trent Stork’s creativity and organizing (the best assistant ever), and I am profoundly taken with the meaning of collaboration…working together…everyone included…and we have something achieved beyond expectation! If only this were a microcosm of what we could do for our species! Yes, I look at our work this way. It might be good to think everyone can look at their work this way, don’t you think?
I am so grateful for the actors in our company. Ultimately, dear reader, it is they who make what we do living art. “Let’s start with human beings rather than clichés,” I think to myself when we begin. My cast here found our vulnerabilities, weaknesses, strengths, joys and the ennoblement of love. Love is the answer.
Love and thanks to all,