What a Difference A Year Makes

On August 28 of last year, I posted my opening article for Bravo, Bloomington! Happy belated anniversary to my little blog!

The stated purpose of this blog is to celebrate Bloomington’s inspiring theater and performance culture, and during this past year, I have met wonderful, talented people, promoted shows I believed in, and gained a little foothold in the Bloomington theater world.

On a more personal note, though, this blog had a bigger purpose. When I started the blog, I had just made the hardest decision of my life, to withdraw from my PhD program. For me, this was more than just quitting a job. I didn’t really know who I was outside of school. I had to rediscover my skills, my career goals, and my place in the world.

Bravo, Bloomington! was a key element to my emotional recovery. Read more

Theater of Solace

Tonight I went to Cardinal’s Merchant of Venice a second time for a spotlight piece on the production’s Shylock. My teenage son joined me this time. I raised him on Shakespeare, and I wanted him to see this production. He loved it, and my love grew deeper.

This theater experience was different than the first. I could feel it. The room seemed heavy with worry and sadness about the current political and social situation. The words “distraction” and “escape” kept chiming in my ears, “I though this would be a nice distraction. I needed to escape for awhile.”

As I caught these half-overheard conversations, I thought to myself, “Escape? Distraction? Do these people not know what this play is about?” I walked into the theater, raw emotions exposed knowing that my experience here would hurt. Merchant is about hate, race, revenge, and violence. It is a mirror for our current experience. I knew that going in, but somewhere deep inside I knew I needed that pain.  Read more