Thursday, January 21, 2010


I’m in rehearsal, which is usually no big thing, but this time it’s for the iconic role of Mrs. Robinson in the upcoming production of The Graduate. When the thirty-six year old Anne Bancroft signed on to play the role, I doubt she knew she’d let the cougar off the leash, but standing, silhouetted in the threshold of Benjamin’s doorway that’s exactly what she did. Like the ‘door slam heard round the world’, as Nora walked out of A Doll’s House, Mrs. Robinson flung open wide ‘the bedroom door that would not close’. Both characters changed the world’s perception of women but Bancroft’s portrait of female sexual power post-40 is a tall pair of stockings to fill.
The play blends the biting, beautiful humor of the Buck Henry screenplay and story elements from the original Charles Webb novel. These changes affect Mrs. Robinson most directly, and bring a keen balance of hope and bitterness to her character. Societal views have changed a lot since 1964, especially toward women. How will these script and perspective changes affect an audience so familiar with the only Mrs. R they’ve ever known? Is it possible for me to create an original performance from such an original character? We shall see… As I pack my script and notebook, heading east toward the theatre; I recall a fitting quote from Ms. Bancroft herself. "I am what I am because of what I am and if you like me I'm grateful, and if you don't, what am I going to do about it?"
---Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.

THE GRADUATE February 12- March 14, 2010
Aurora Fox Theatre 9900 E Colfax Ave
6 miles east of the State Capitol in Aurora, Colorado.

Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:00
For tickets call 303 739-1972 or visit

Friday, January 15, 2010

Catastrophic Dreaming...

I don’t sleep well when there is a global catastrophe. It’s as if my psyche were in silent vigil for the living and dying who are struggling to find their way within the grip of nature’s fury. Images of bodies lying in the twisted rebar or washed up on broken, angry beaches, families standing on rain-soaked rooftops, children searching solo for anything familiar: they trouble me. They flood over airwaves as I sit, comfortably and uncomfortably, transfixed before my cable news network. I don’t want to watch. I don’t want to know, but my soul does. It does not forget for a second. My ventures into social media provide distraction; Amy’s daughter lost a tooth, Jeff got a job, theatre openings/closings, and plenty of go-team-go. Then there are the postings, the pleas for $10 worth of help, which makes me feel more helpless. All I can do is send a paltry sum? Will that get the planes there faster? Will that stop the voices crying out from inside the concrete rubble? The answer is yes. And…yes. That may be all I can do from the comfort of my uncomforted zone, but deep within my sleepless psyche there is work to be done.
I am heartened by the massive funds collected click-by-ten-buck-click, enraged by the perspicacious insights of the religiously insane. Treaties with France and pacts with Satan aside, the world is harsh and cruel and that will never change. When I see the film of Haitian people, who have never had much but have lost it all, grateful to be alive to live another day in poverty, I am brought to my knees, careful not to rip my jeans. (They cost me over half the yearly wages of the average Haitian.)
The problems of Haiti are long-standing and legendary. They will not be reversed in a day, or in a generation. The road of reconstruction is long and hard, the path of re-invention, harder. Like our native sons and daughters of New Orleans, the spotlight of their plight will shift, cameras turning toward the next true or false calamity, and they will be left alone together. What is left is the opportunity to rebuild, the responsibility to recreate, and that is to be shared by all with equal measure. We can send our money and our troops; we can send our prayers and some well-meaning group will be collecting teddy bears, for that is what we’re made of.
I lose sleep hoping that our fruitful steps in times of overwhelming crisis will not melt into meaningless gestures of remembrance once the parade has passed. While we commit to fund and rebuild Haiti, let us also fund the bank account of our humanity. Let’s call on it daily, putting forth our best before disaster strikes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010