The Theatre I Missed
Once upon a time, many lifetimes ago, I was into theatre. I feasted on Konstantin Stanislavski, Bertolt Brecht and Eugene Ionesco.
To graduate from the Goodman Theatre (Art Institute of Chicago), I had to direct several plays, one of which was Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” a play about waiting . . . and waiting, and hope.
Those who know me today would raise their eyebrows and say, “Really?” For there is no trace of the theater in me. Let me revise that statement: there is seemingly no trace of the theatre left in me.
The Lord had led me to a different path, a path where a young, wide-eyed girl will not starve or end up bewildered. He showed me the way to advertising where I trained to do what I do today, late in life though it may be—write.
But once in a rare while, the familiar burst of sunshine in my middle when we were rehearsing backstage, or stage managing a play by the theater wings, or hearing the audience’s audible sigh or laughter, springs back.
Mama Mia! did just that.
And then once more over the weekend when I watched two DVDs in a row: Passion (2004 Tony Award for Best Musical) with its original Broadway cast; and Being Julia, a movie about theater people which won for actor Annette Being tons of nominations and awards.
Two lines struck me from Passion and Being Julia.
"I didn’t choose to love you—love knows no reason."
And, "The stage is all there is; the outside world which people call reality does not exist.”
These are what theatre people feel. These are what make them stay there for life.
Why did I stay away? We’ve heard it all before: life is about choices and I have chosen other things. Maybe I was not as in love with the theater as I thought I was. But I shall always hold in deepest esteem theatre people in whose circle I no longer belong.
It was grace that allowed me to briefly embrace this consuming world of theater, so that I can relive the experience sometimes, and use it to power what I love doing today.