Citizen of the Day

5/21, Day 13,531: Marnie’s Birthday Cards Against Humanity
5/22, Day 13,532: A Day in the Death of (Retro’s) Joe Egg

 (Why am I naming days?) (And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?)

These past two days were long ones, as the TCG Conference prep continues to heat up, but there was some fun to be had at the end of each day. But before I get to the naming and the honey, I want to introduce a new feature, the Citizen Shout-Out. (Ooh, a new feature, you say? Tell me more!)

Basically, this will be an irregular opportunity to acknowledge human beings acting in compassionate, courageous, creative, and civic-minded ways. Our culture puts too much of a premium on heroism, which seem out of reach and too often involves the creation of villains to satisfy the heroic narrative.

But citizenship–those daily acts of courage, compassion and creativity–seem within reach of all of us. I think here again of the great Bobby Kennedy speech, rewritten a little here to better suit my own purposes:

“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, or creates something of beauty and insight, or discovers something new about our shared universe; s/he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

My first Citizen of the Day, with a h/t to Shaun Fauntleroy, is Chelsea Fearce: a student who spent much of high school homeless and yet graduated at such a high level that she is entering college at the junior level. Given the painful inequality of our education system, Chelsea’s courage and intelligence are an inspiring reminder of why education and income inequality reforms  matter. All of our children deserve a chance to shine this brightly. Thank you, Chelsea, and best of luck at Spelman!

5/21, Day 13,531: Marnie’s Birthday Cards Against Humanity
After a 13.5-hour super-intense work day at TCG, Heather and I celebrated my wonderful sister Marnie’s birth with some Cards Against Humanity at her place. The day also offered respite in the form of a lunch meeting with Lisa Roethe, one of the amazingly generous spirits who works at the Lark, about our collaboration on Stepping. When the Conference is done, I have some exciting steps to take to help get my plays out there, thanks to the advocacy of the wonderful people at the Lark…but that won’t happen until after Dallas!

5/22, Day 13,532: A Day in the Death of (Retro’s) Joe Egg
After only a 9-hour day at TCG, Heather and I saw A Day in the Death of Joe Egg by Retro Productions featuring many dear friends. Becky Byers’ work as the “spastic vegetable” (the play’s words, not my own) child was hauntingly specific; and her brief vision of a dance, the most moving part of the play. Heather Cunningham turned in a deeply felt performance, and Matt Trumbull tracked the secretive lacerations of a heart convincing itself to make some terrible decisions with a painful clarity. It was also great to see Kristen Vaughn in a more comic turn, though of course, being who she is, she brought pathos to the role. The play itself is an oddly-structured, fascinating story that is both timeless and dated, and I found the scattered casual racist jokes from the characters particularly jarring in a play with so much unflinching humanity (knowing they’re of the time doesn’t make them easier to hear). In the end, I understand the choices of the characters to both stay and go, and that is a tribute to the humanity of the production, as well.

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?

Ways in which I failed to deliver the honey:

  • A major tech issue with our blog, the TCG Circle, made me fal behind on Tuesday at the worst possible moment. That stress led me to act in a way I regret to some colleagues.

Onward!

Categories: Uncategorized

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