Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's Next?

Once again a 'Path' festival has come to a close.  The work on this project began in November of 2011 when I read, Molly Ivins' book, Bushwhacked, Life in George W. Bush's America and ended with the final performance of Red Hot Patriot, The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, Saturday evening April 12, 2014.

What a treat to play Molly.  I am especially grateful for the superb direction of friend and colleague Julie Harrington who helped me face down some of my acting demons and banish many of them to other realms.  Joseph Hough as my copy boy helped to anchor me to the space and to the story with his confident demeanor that seemed to go beyond this mortal plane of existence.  Providing incidental guitar music was a newcomer to our project, Matt Simper.  His creative work underscored moments, sharpening them and giving them a deeper context that echoed in the bones and the sub conscious as only music can do.  Bob Carnahan and Joseph Hough tackled the light, sound, and slide issues.  I heard many compliments on that aspect of the show.

And I am so grateful to our symposium panelists who came from around the state to participate in a discussion on Journalism in the 21st Century.  Jim Patten, Peter Friedirci, Kim Newton, Jana Bommmersbach, and Tom Cantlon.  I know we could have spent at least another hour with this panel on the subject at hand.

And I'm thankful for the volunteer work of Marion Pack, Micki Shelton, Barbara Jacobsen, Helen Stephenson.  And kudos to Chris and Mark Bonn who generously allowed us to show their film, The Ray Parker Story.  The Elks Opera House Guild always provides a touch of class as they usher our patrons to their seats.  And always I must thank Colette Greenlee who manages our theatre with grace and competence.

So now the set is struck, the props returned, reports written, taxes filed.  As President Bartlett was wont to say on my favorite TV series, West Wing,  "What's next?"  Good question. Path seems to be evolving into an organization that tackles issues with a certain gravitas.  Climate change is on the minds of many of us, but I'm struggling at the moment with how to build a theatre piece around that.  No difficulty finding scientists to come be on a panel, or show a documentary film etc.  But the visual arts, theatre, dance...hmmmmmmm just not sure.  Comments welcome.  I've also thought it might be interesting to explore the place of comedy and laughter in our development as homo sapiens.

The next theme for the fourth festival will be announced on September 11, 2014, the 5th anniversary of our AZ incorporation.  The project itself will happen in April of 2016.

So here's your chance to weigh in with suggestions.   What's next?

Gail Mangham, Artistic Director, The Artist's Path