A Bright Particular Star has opened, and it has opened very fine indeed. This is going to be a bit of a gush, but a person has to celebrate glorious moments, like collecting travel stickers, or autographs, creating word talismans of some sort. It is the momentum caused by a growing collection of glorious moments in our theatre’s life - in our own lives - that add up to something mythic and grand.
It was a glorious opening, heightened by the presence of my dear friend and theatrical cohort of some 30 years, Ron Reed. He’s the playwright who penned the words that came to life over the course of four weeks of rehearsal, the story that resonated and came to life in the performers for the sake of our audience. He’s a man of considerable warmth, and he loved the show. So now we can both sleep at nights!
The company was wonderful last night, delivering performances that gave such clarity to the humor and the truth and the pathos of the story. I am, in a word, proud. The actors are costumed in Victorian garments fitted and built to perfection in our wardrobe. I feel like I’m back at Stratford again, looking at the finery of the fit and finish. The set is a small wonder, effortlessly gliding through the scenes in a way that lends such magic to the storytelling. It looks as beautiful from the back as from the front. Am I really in Rosebud, or did I wake up in a theatre with ten times the resource to pull off the magic we delivered? It feels a bit like loaves and fishes made more by some mystical hand.
This is what it means to have a resident company of artists, creating together show to show, year to year. It means that we reach beyond what we’d ever be able to do because we trust in the fundamental heart commitment of everyone involved. A question was asked of the well-known Estonian composer, Arvo Part in a music workshop. “Why do you fill your music with religious themes?” His answer was quite simple, “Because I believe it.”
Last night’s glorious coming together of all of the elements of our theatre into a unified and up-lifting experience for all rests on the same answer. “Because we believe it.”