Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Theatre: Masters of McNalley

Zoe Caldwell

John Glover

Richard Thomas

Audra McDonald

On Monday night, I had the wonderful privilege of sitting in the audience and basking in the wondrous glow of Audra McDonald, Zoe Caldwell, Richard Thomas and John Glover.

These four luminous actors exuded humor, drama, pathos, but most of all--kindness.

After years in the theatre, I am still amazed when I meet actors who are unkind. I always wonder how they manage to stay in a business that thrives on human connection. I'm not talking about being too kind to maintain artistic integrity--I mean people who fight for that integrity, but when they leave, they treat one another with respect and generosity. The theatre cannot survive without generosity and love. We rely too much on one another to allow petty jealousy and rudeness in art. And yet, I see it far too often.

But these four. These particular actors were filled with love.

Theatre is about love. It is about loving your art enough to never settle. It is about loving your scene partner enough to raise the other to a higher level through kind and generous work. It is about loving the playwright enough to respect his or her words, and as Zoe Caldwell puts it--respect the punctuation!

If you have any interest in the theatre at all, watch this beautiful video. It was such a joy to be there. It was a wonderful night.

Click here! to watch the video.

Below is a scene of Zoe Caldwell's earlier work. She is one of my favorite actresses of all time. Watch this video and compare it with her gentle mischievous humor in real life on the Kennedy Center video. She's a force. Or as Audra describes her--a hurricane!

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