Tuesdays with Corti: Life in Theater

Open windows welcome light, fresh air breezes from over The Fox this bright, sunny Tuesday morning. Aromas of summer and dark roast coffee mingle with the melodies of birds’ songs and the solo honks of a goose splish-splashing below. Serene and safe, taking pause to be thankful for a moment’s sanctuary away from the madness in the world. Last night, a lovely group of folks gathered at the Theatre of Western Springs for a Q&A on a life in the theater hosted by Greg Kolack who has been directing great work there for some time now. (Greg and I go way back to the days of Bill Pullinsi’s Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.) The community theater company boasts two performance venues; a small amphitheater-like space and a flexible black box theater. I could intuit their enthusiasm for art and performance and a palpable creative energy that seemed to infuse the place.  We talked about life experiences, the disciplines and lessons of a theater practice and celebrated the haven, the escape, that is the theater. As well, we identified how art reflects life and the necessity of its relevance, resonating with the times we live in. I got to talk about beginning in high school musicals on through this profession that has landed at Paramount and had a lively time of it: how change can happen in ourselves if we let it. How miracles happen. 

Last week, the realness of the school of performing arts happening hit home as we took a quick tour of the ground floor before the classrooms are gutted and the rebuilding begins. These “before” images are ingrained in my brain now, and anticipating the “after” is unbelievably exciting, like a dream coming true; the restaurant, artist housing, studios, practice rooms, our rehearsal space! 

A busy day ahead with Cabaret auditions happening this morning. Offers have been going out to our potential casts of Million Dollar Quartet and Elf ​(the returns on which are stellar spectacular) and a two-day round of Once​ auditions are ahead next week. This afternoon, Paramount’s New Works Director Amber Mak has some exciting points to discuss about a couple of projects I don’t think I can talk about yet, so I won’t! But it’s gonna be good meeting!

Enjoy this sunshine today!

Love & thanks,

Jim