30
May

Mermaids

Several years ago, I read an article about Weeki Wachee Springs, which is part 1940s roadside attraction, part state park. And I knew I had to go. The attraction? Mermaids. Yes, mermaids. In 1947, this guy bought a natural spring and built an underwater theater with a massive glass wall–like a huge aquarium. He hired […]

4
Apr

Year of the King

I’ve just finished Year of the King, by Antony Sher. It’s his diary/sketchbook from the year when he was working on Richard III at the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s been on my to-read list for ages, so long, in fact, that I can’t recall who recommended it to me. It’s a fascinating look into his process as […]

Directing is Great Preparation for Toddler Parenting

I’ve been thinking for a while about how everyone who sees me with my kids has exactly the same comment, which is that I don’t ever flip out at them or let them control my emotions. It’s a comment, of course, that reflects what I’m presenting to the outside world, rather than what’s going on in […]

6
Nov

Dia de los Muertos

Our church, like many churches, celebrates All Saint’s Day on the Sunday after Halloween, and so that is what we did last Sunday. The church I used to attend doesn’t practice a strong liturgical calendar, and, although I understand why, I also find power and meaning in the wheel of the year. I like that […]

24
Aug

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 […]

16
Nov

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 […]

14
Apr

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 […]