This year has brought so many great moments for me as person. I have grown beyond my expectations,but at the same time I continue to reflect on life and the changes that are coming. Emerson Theater Collaborative has grown in a direction that I never expected. It began to shape itself in a way that has made me want something more. The arts come with surprises and creating theater makes for a more complete me.
This years season shaped not only our patrons, but all those involved with the company. Each time we brought new actors aboard they left with a deeper sense of self, and knowing what they really want out of this magic that they helped create. We as a company continue to push the envelope in creating social change. Tackling life’s issues with eagerness and using theater to educate and eliminate what we as a world do not need. Acceptance, Hope and Love where the themes that resonated in this season of shows.
Opening the Season with Hate Mail by Bill Corbett and Kira Obolensky made way for love to start. Two Great actors Stephen and Carolyn created characters that illuminated the very essence of what love “could” be. The show help to raise money for us as a company to continue our work in the community. My love and admiration for the late Matthew Hightower who help us in so many ways. Celebrating Black History Month and Women’s month again with Harriet Tubman’s Dream and Aunt Hattie’s House this time working with the Groton Middle School to bring history to our grade School Children.
Coming full circle for us with an original production by Melanie Greenhouse called Chestina Vanessa Poulson, A family who survives the holocaust, a care taker who shape a child into being part of the human spirit. Three tours of this production. It has come a long way since we did the reading in 2007. Directors Andrea Andresakis and Joshua Ramos share in the shaping of a story that brings a sense of understanding and closure for some.
Gray Matters by Jacques Lamarre, brings four characters together for the telling of what happens to an actor who can’t remember. The Stunning April Woodall played the leading role of Sarah in the NYC Debut and the Mystic Production. Her amazing talent gave her and us a great thrill in her winning the award for best actress in a leading role. Kathryn Kates, as Miriam Berger, the “Battle Ax” of Broadway agent who cares for sarah shines in her role. However, I didn’t need to tell her that one – she’s a natural for the role. Jen Anaya and ETC member Stephen Sherman play the roles of Deja Smith and Scott Tipton Leeds (Actors) took their roles seriously. They of course are now Mr and Mrs Sherman celebrating a wonderful wedding in Las Vegas. The cast of Gray Matters went to Hartford CT sadly without April Woodall, but was replaced by Deb Freund a wonderful actress from Manchester CT. Thank you Jacques and Arthur for a great cast breakfast at your crib! How’s that for an award winning performance.
I was Waiting for Lefty this fall and it came with a bunch of surprises. However nothing that we couldn’t handle. This was one production that I really wanted to do and it really worked out just the way it should have. I experienced professionalism (From my cast) at its best when we had unprofessionalism staring us in the face on several occasions. We had great actors who loved what they were doing and worked hard and grew from the process. As a producer and director I would gladly hire all of them again. The show was amazing! Ashley Adelman, came with zest for a role that was made just for her. Shah Motia (Joe And Agatt), Became two distinct characters with such ease and giving both such intensity. Harry Fatt played by Eric C. Bailey came alive under his command – It might as well been 1935 all over again. Patricia Riddick playing Dr Benjamin (Yes, I know the script calls for a man) She was better. Great delivery by a great actress. Ed lowe, a regular with ETC always come with a smile and ready to tackle any task at hand. Lesley Billingslea, takes command of the union hall with just a look. Jamie Schor, is an actor who really came alive for me. He has audition for us on several occasions, and I now see what I missed. A very talented and professional actor. Ready and willing to step and get the job done. Thank you Jamie for coming to ETC with a great attitude and a love for the art of acting. There will always be a place for you here. Waiting for Lefty can be a very dark play but by adding Youth to this production made it such a wonderful moment for us. They began to teach us about how they view the world and oddly enough it came with a few great moments for us too. Jack Hartman, Jane Coates and Tajarah Clark, breathing truth into the play with a vision for today. Lastly, what would a play such as this be without music sung by the one and only Krystal A. Livingston. This music brighten the play up even more with the stunning vocals of Krystal. It just couldn’t have worked without you.
There are moments of when the apples tend to make a difference and the leaves falling open up a new path to your world. In its crispness the fall offers a sense of reflection to the past that just left and where the winters reign is upon us it leaves us wanting to wait for one more warm afternoon.
Be in peace with yourself,