Lost Theatre

The last two nights have reminded me both how much I love the theatre community here, and how much is missing.

Last night I went to the memorial service for Camille D'Ambrose, held at the Illusion Theatre. The event was really lovely, with family speaking during the first pat, then a sharing of memories. Lou Salerni stunned people by getting up on stage and sharing his memories — there was an audible gasp when he said who he was, and close to a standing ovation when he finished. Shirley Venard gave the last remarks, as beautiful and feisty as ever. And yet there was a sense of sadness, of what we have lost in Camille but also in a theatre community. To some extent we just don't have that anymore, that group of Equity stages doing a mix of old and new work, all playing off of each other, with a group of established actors working between them. And, to be true, by focusing on Jeune Lune for 12 years I absenced myself from that.

Jeune Lune. I still have dreams about that place on a weekly basis. Tonight we saw Brief Encounter by Kneehigh Theatre at the Guthrie, and it was all I was told it was — clever, well-acted, brilliantly staged, tying in music and projection and physical theatre. But it was so Jeune Lune — I could imagine company members in each of those parts, the physical theatre language was a heartbreaking part of me that I knew so well — that in some ways it was painful to watch. Because even though it was a great night of stirring theatre, I used to have that several times a year. And now I don't.

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