As a French major in a previous life (and by that I mean before husband and kids), I studied pre-revolutionary France. With the court ensconced at Versailles, the Parisian aristocrats had run of the city. Those in the know met at Salons where they discussed everything from politics to art to the latest gossip. I am fascinated by the idea of a group of people getting together to discuss the arts. I find that happens a lot when I stage manage a production. Artists gather on their breaks to discuss the state of theater, the latest plays, new projects and how to make a living--especially when one has kids. A question, I most often receive when I work on a show is, "You have two kids? How do you do it all?" I honestly can't say I know except that I have an understanding husband who makes an awesome cosmopolitan.
Interestingly enough, my next theater project will be at the Arden Theatre Philadelphia this Fall where I will stage manage a production of Candide. Voltaire wrote Candide in 1759 to satirize the popular optimism movement of the time. Voltaire, the pen name of Francois Arouet, was very popular in the salons of his day because of his wit and imagination.
This past Spring, I did my first show at the Arden, The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. It was such a great experience that I am looking forward to this next project. As an added bonus, the rehearsals start in August and this is the first summer in two years that my children are not in camp. The days can get long.
My family and I are new to the Philly area. We moved here two years ago because I thought I wanted a full-time, day job in Theater. Not so much. I did write an essay published in the Philadelphia Inquirer about our move. It was published in June of 2007, I'm having trouble finding the link to it. A quick update on our situation in case I do get the link to it. We no longer live on the Main Line, we've bought a house in Abington Township. My full-time job at the time of the article was with People's Light and Theatre Company, another excellent theater located in Malvern, PA. But I missed stage managing and Malvern is too long of a haul from Abington. Luckily, as I decided to leave People's Light, the Arden was hiring stage managers so it worked out perfectly.
And here's another coincidence, the Arden periodically hosts salons that gather artists together to discuss, you guessed it, theater.
See it all comes full circle.