For those of you who are coming to this blog via the Commonweal’s Facebook post, welcome! To everyone else, welcome back!
Most Commonweal patrons know me for my roles onstage such as Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher, Gabriella in Boeing Boeing, or Mina in Dracula: Prince of Blood, among others. They may also recognize me as the lady who tore their tickets or sold them cookies during the show. Since I can’t share the Commonweal experience with you all right now due to the current crisis, I’ve decided to reach out to you through this blog in order to maintain that connection.
Since the stay at home order was put into place, I’ve been finding numerous ways to keep myself occupied. In addition to reading plays and practicing instruments such as the guitar and ukulele, I’ve actually been able to take dance classes, something I haven’t done in quite a while, thanks to Zoom. I’ve also been playing around and getting creative with makeup thanks to my newfound love of reality tv. Most importantly, this time has allowed me to reconnect with several people who I sadly haven’t talked to in a while and knowing that they’re safe and we’re all in the same boat has given me a sliver of peace during this turbulent time.
During my first year with the Commonweal as a seasonal actor back in 2017, I was immediately struck by how welcoming and kind the community was, and how everyone, both in the theatre and otherwise, went out of their way to make me feel at home the minute I got off the plane. After I was hired full time as a resident ensemble member and officially made Lanesboro my home, my regard for the town and the people only grew, as I witnessed everyone go above and beyond time and time again to support each other through good and bad times. As this pandemic has taken hold of the country, I realize now more than ever how much I’ve come to regard the community of Lanesboro as a kind of surrogate family: close-knit, welcoming, and willing to help their friends and neighbors no matter what. If I may be perfectly frank, although I have done several shows that have required me to be very open and vulnerable, offstage I have sometimes found it difficult to be completely honest with my feelings. Whether this is due to my Asperger’s syndrome or something else I’m not sure, but I’m aware that I can sometimes come across as awkward or even cold to people I’m not familiar with. Since I’ve begun working at the Commonweal, I’ve found a safe space with people who not only understand my differences and quirks, but who embrace them and love me for it. And as I’ve gotten to know the people of Lanesboro, I’ve found myself more and more willing to open up as a person to those outside my inner circle. The point of me saying this is that although it may seem sometimes like I’m indifferent, please know that I do care with all of my heart, and I’m working harder than ever to be more open and available to those around me.
I cannot begin to express how fiercely I miss the people who come through our doors every day, wanting to see and support our work and lift us up through that support. And though we’re all parted right now, I know that the measures we’re all taking right now can only help things get better rather than worse. It was this sense of feeling isolated from my family, community and artistic home that lead me to restarting my blog. As we go forward into this strange time, I hope more than ever that this blog can help me stay connected with those of you who are missing our onstage work. For the time being, if I may paraphrase the statement we make at the end of every show, please be safe, so that we get to see you soon and often.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe.