Tuesday, September 03, 2013

artistic director journal | back to school

Because our theatre season has more or less the shape of the school year, there's always a bit of that feeling of heading back to school, come September. Indeed, we've always made a point of taking things as light as possible once July and August arrive. "Nobody in Vancouver goes to theatre in the summer. Nobody goes to theatre any time of the year, but even more nobody goes in the summer." Overstated, and with obvious exceptions (say "Bard On The Beach," somebody?), but...  Kind of true.

And hey. It takes a full year's work to put on ten months of theatre. Nuff said.

But this year more than usual, fall brings that familiar feeling more than most. Partly because the summer really was a break - freedom to immerse myself in creative projects, live in my back yard (hammock, barbecue, and whatever the current project happened to be), be with family and the occasional pal. No datebook, no deadlines, no "to do" list. Ahhh..

But mostly because today found me on campus. In the bookstore. Reading a syllabus and scanning the shelves for my textbooks.  I'm not a student this time around, but there's the same little thrill of new books, new ideas, new relationships.

I'm co-teaching "The Vocation Of The Artist" this fall with Iwan Russell-Jones, who is the arts guy at Regent College these past couple years.  It's a seminar with a table-ful of upper level students - musicians, writers, photographers, painters - who will be presenting their work in progress, theological reflections, all that.  A couple weeks from now I'll be presenting on my own work in progress - not only the new play that's in research and daydreaming phase, and the two shows I'll be performing this season at Pacific Theatre, but also other writing, a video project, my photography...  All the stuff that keeps my soul fed.  And later in the term I'll lead a session on "My Name Is Asher Lev" - we'll consider the book together, and I'll likely draw on my own encounters with the Pacific Theatre production as well.

It's just an afternoon a week, but it feels good to be teaching again.  And it feels great to be back at Regent College - which is why I came to Vancouver in the first place, 35 years ago.

(Oh. I'll let you know what I think of these books. In due time.)

No comments: