Here we are (Shannon, BR and Max) inside the School of Public Health. We were talking over logistics for Sommer Hall and our performance on September 11th. Shannon is who I first talked to about bringing Telling to Hopkins. BR brought me into the project and was my initial contact (he also encouraged me to “keep looking” for funding). Shannon, who I worked with for “East Side Story,” eventually came to our financial rescue. A while back I discovered this little nugget about “East Side Story” and Project Gado in the Baltimore Examiner. Max Rayneard is doing the veteran interviews and from what he gets from the veterans, he then writes the script. We all looked over the space and shared ideas on how things could go. Having this meeting got me very excited about what we were doing. Also, it’s good that my chief concern is JUST Directing, and not getting my panties in a bunch about resources, PR or all the miscellaneous coordination behind having something of this nature at Johns Hopkins.
The next day I met with Max and the two ladies from MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) at MICA. Max was taking a break from the interviews and we Emily Russell (left) and Kirsten Poulsen-House (right) were asking questions about the “making” of the show. Max boiled down the essence for everybody. Emily and Kirsten will be providing an exhibit for the audience to see/witness before and after the performance. They’ve both been in on this almost from the start, and they hope to provide that “organic” addition to what the audience will experience. Since Telling evokes such a strong connection between audience and performer, having a visual compliment (the exhibit) would be like adding a brand new “sense” to the ones we work with now.
I can’t tell you how rewarding this has been. I love having a project like this. The more you work in the arts (in any capacity) the more you appreciate collaborations that aim high. Starting in July I’ll meet the cast and start rehearsals (one day a week till September). I never knew that I’d be associated with something so “large,” in nature. I have many feelings about the rewards that come with age. And patience. All of them good.I expect the next stage of working with Telling with unveil even more for me.