When Carolanne first asked me to direct Peter Shaffer's Lettice and
Lovage – I remember thinking that it was an unlikely follow-up to The
Drawer Boy, my last project here at the Merc Playhouse. The two plays
couldn't seem to be more different.
Of course, during our rehearsals here in Twisp, I have learned just how
much the two plays actually share. Both plays revolve around the theatrical
imagination and storytelling - and how the burdens and troubles of our
world, whether societal or personal, can be assuaged or even remedied by ...
well, the theatre. Creativity and Imagination are mighty and powerful tools.
The need to tell stories is an ancient drive, one that brings us all
together. It can be subversive and healing all at the same time.
As Shakespeare’s Richard II puts it, we sit on the ground and tell sad
stories of the death of Kings. Not just Kings, of course, but men and women
of all conditions, as Lettice Douffet relates the theme.
It is a basic, essential idea - and one that the Merc's audiences
certainly seem to welcome and understand. I find it thrilling to see so much
artistic activity here in the Methow Valley, whether it is the playhouse,
the chamber music festival or the happy prevalence of so much folk and
visual art. Such creativity and imagination! It is a staple of a nurturing
and healthy life.
… And the best protection against a life of "the Mere.”
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