We’re taking vacations and departing in pairs, which is to say, two of us have left already, two are going this week, two more next; it’s a virtual exodus as this hard working staff finally gets a breather. But not before getting materials ready for a hectic re-entry; this week we’re producing new ads for the extension of PANGS OF THE MESSIAH, and post cards for Amy Ziff’s ACCIDENT which will open at the Studio Theatre Secondstage while we run PANGS two blocks away at Theater J. The commotion will be quite exciting to return to.
But the vacation for each and every staff member is essesntial. Hannah’s off to Spain next week. As am I with my family. But Hannah and I have assured each other we won’t come within a 400 km radius of each other! And no intracontinental emails either! Rebeccca Ende’s off to Israel, and I’ll be there with my family as well — a week in Spain followed by a week in Israel where, on the 18th of August, our PANGS creative team will meet for a reunion with us at the home of sound designer Hannah Ha-Kohen. How fun will that be? We know Rebecca Ende will be consumed in “Birthright Israel” tours and programs the whole time she’s there, so no chance of Theater J business invading her sojourn. Patricia’s off in North Carolina; Tom’s off with his family as well; Delia takes off today. Only Simone will be holding down the fort come next week, but she’s the rock of Gilbralter, so we leave with smiles and only a few worries (comes with the territorty). Is this interesting? Perhaps, in getting the sense of the ebb and flow of an organism.
Right now I’m in the Midwest with my family. We drove in our Prius to Michiana Shores (on the border, naturally, between Michigan and Indiana) only to wake up yesterday morning to attend a funeral in Chicago;keep readin a dear close friend–my mother’s closest colleague and friend–Dr. Raya Schapiro, whose children grew up with us and we’ve stayed close–or at least apprised of each other’s trajectories–for the last 40 years. It was moving and beautiful to be together, all of us–my sisters flew in as well–to remember a most extraordinary woman–a razor sharp, unpretentious psychiatrist who died too swiftly from cancer at the age of 73.
But the day continued to be about bonding and reconnecting, with other friends in Chicago who’ve been through the medical juggernaut this summer and emerged from the MRI tunnel and surgery with a spectacularly clean bill of health. I’m speaking of my very best friend from college and his wife, in particular, who had an 8 inch tumor removed from her spine two weeks ago. And it was found to be benign. Entirely. Which is such a close call with fright and agony, it makes the savoring of health and of happiness with children all the more felt on this warm summer stretch.
So the business of the theater will continue this week; hard working staff meeting on outreach; following through on press releases and publicity and, of course, the selling and processing of subscriptions. But from 800 miles away, the achievements of our last months together–ever since launching this blog, come to think of it–in the beginning of March with the opening of FAMILY SECRETS and the setting sail for London and Vienna, we’ve been enjoying an unprecedented clip of activity, with utterly stimulating material, from SHYLOCK to Gerstein to Glaser to Motti Lerner and the riotous run of programming throughout our festival, this blog really seems to have brought us good luck. And a superb archive of our output, and even, occasionally, a comment back from the over 10,000 “clickers” who’ve been reading through this collective journal over the past 5 months.
Here’s to a wonderful vacation to all our readers, artists, workers, dreamers. We’ll keep checking in. It won’t be “work.” Only pleasure.