Monday, May 30, 2011

Thanks to Beth Kirchner and the Woodford Theater ensemble, 1776

Ms. Beth Kirchner
1776 ensemble
Theater front office and all volunteers

Wow! Simply Awesome!

Last fall, when I saw 1776 listed on the season program,
I said to myself.
Whose crazy, over ambitious idea?
No way.
I saw the movie.
1776 is too ambitious for an amateur theater.
Too many singing parts,
Too many critical acting roles.
Too much male bawdy humor to bring off well.
It is unlikely any amateur production could handle.

Was I ever wrong. Delightfully wrong.

Now I am a disable Veteran, my latest classification from the VA is “catastrophically disabled” Believe it or not, I have served with every branch of the U. S. Military, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines (in that order), both enlisted and commissioned, active and reserve, over some 22 years.

That last scene, the signing one by one, was holy, sacred, deeply moving moment fo me, with enormous spiritual significance, not only to my life, but I believe also in the vast history of the cosmos.

Those words and ideals, as so well expressed, are still changing the world, now in the Middle
East. All over the Middle East, so much that the uprising are being called “an
Arab Spring.”

My wife and I are season ticket holders of four tickets, and bring different friends each time to introduce them to your theater. The couple we brought yesterday were enormously impressed, already being history buffs.

Another compliment. What a difference between the full dress rehearsal and this performance. May 12 was well recessed and delivered, moire more as a kind of warm up practice. Between May 12 and May 29, the whole cast really caught fire with the passion of the historian moment.
Great difference.

Yesterday, your cast knew, really knew they were creating, no, recreating one great moment of awesome spiritual experience. You all deserve no end of Kudos. They created, for me at least (and also for our guests), a powerful experience, a “church-moment of deep gratitude” (and I am a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest). You could and should perform this all over the world.

I am simply delighted with what all of you are doing there. It is quite incredible that you have found so many volunteers with such talent and generosity.

Thank you also for your generosity in allowing me, a Spellbinder storyteller to invited other area storytellers to the full dress rehearsal night. We have three days of training , sponsored by eh Lexington Library (I am one of the trainers), but there is only a good introduction. As Ruth Sawyer said, it takes a while to become a fine storyteller. This opportunity provides not only an introduction to what you are doing here, but also Continuing Education in he art and Craft of storytelling for our Spellbinder group. May I hope this hospitality might be continued with your c successor?

This is only my third season, but yesterday, wife and I agreed , was clearly the best ever.

Best wishes for yourself
and for your staff, all the performers,
and all the volunteers who contribute so
generously to make this happen.

Paschal Baute
Spellbinder storyteller and psychologist
May 20, 2011.

My newest book now being completed,
Storytelling: Mystery Power and Genius
catches this 1776 moment as
a powerful example of how
story nurtures the human spirit