Tiny Set Designer

My being a professional theaterist has made my children, perhaps, a bit weirder than they would otherwise be. The good news is that Silas, at least, has a firm grasp on fiction and reality. When we go see a play, he understands that all those adults are just pretending. He’s been to more rehearsals than […]

Life Is Tough

While we’re on the subject, I guess I’ll share the other mantra that I carried out of Hiram (many lessons, but just these two mantras): Life is tough. Hiram owns an off-the-grid camp on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Classes go up there sometimes, and they have a five-day backpacking trip for first year students to […]


It’s Not About Me

I went to a very nice liberal arts college. I had exactly the experience you hope your kid will have when you send them to a school with an amazing faculty-to-student ratio, kids hanging out on picnic blankets in the Commons, active study-abroad programs, and minimal access to civilization. It wasn’t cheap, and I thank […]

Race and Performance

A few days ago, I posted this question to my facebook wall: So, I have a question about race-blind casting. I don’t have any ulterior motives here. This is not meant to be snarky or tongue-in-cheek or ironic or anything like that. Just an honest question. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you wanted to do a […]


There’s a Double Meaning in That

Our Bradford pears are blooming. Last year, during the derecho, our three massive Bradford pears split in half. These tree chunks ended up on our truck, totaling it. We had been discussing taking the remaining tree bits out before they fell on something else. During the last heavy snow, one of them broke. We’ve been trying […]


I read the following poem to Silas. It’s a Mother Goose rhyme that was reprinted in a magazine: Cross patch, / Draw the latch, / Sit by the fire and spin. / Take a cup, / And drink it up, / and ask your neighbor in. Silas claps his hands in excitement and says, “It’s […]


Big Bird Is a National Treasure

I usually try to avoid posting things that are basically political, but well, when certain politicians slam public broadcasting, I get cranky (before you say it: Juan Williams. Yes, he was fired for saying some political things. His First Amendment rights were not being jeopardized. He signed a binding contract to uphold NPR’s ethics code, which […]


Theater History Party

So, this is what I wrote on Facebook this morning: “[An EMU student] reminded me why today is important–it’s class registration day at EMU (apparently. By “reminded” I mean “informed”). I’m teaching theater history and also vocations. So register! It’s going to be the best theater history class ever. Recent grads should audit it just for […]


Church Drama: Why Is It All Terrible?

I have a confession to make: When the worship committee at my church asks me to direct a skit for the service, I cringe inside. I say yes, of course, but I’m really Not Into It. I gather up my people, we do the little skit, everyone compliments us very kindly afterward, but, oh, I […]