About Me

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I dig jazz and single-malt scotch.  I write plays; I direct them too. I love STAR WARS more than is healthy. I walk my dogs every day, unless it's raining or terribly cold.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The saucer and the cup

Last weekend I traveled into Northeast Connecticut to check out the leaves. This year the color is glorious. We haven't had a hurricane like the two years past to either rip the leaves from the trees entirely, or coat them with a layer of salt off the sea to turn them all grey. Instead, we've had warm days, cool nights, and loads of color.

While up in the Quiet Corner, we found a tea shop - Mrs. Bridges Pantry. We sat down for some tea and house-made scones and a chicken-curry pasty or two.  The tea was served hot in a pot, and we shared the brew in proper small cups. With each cup was a saucer, perfectly fitted and matched to the delicate china pieces with impossibly small handles. You can't help but feel polite handling one of these.

Today, my thoughts are returning the the saucer.  The point of the saucer is to give the cup a place to land, but it is also there to catch any spillage from the cup. Perhaps I dribbled a bit of the milk, or stirred too vigorously with the spoon, or neglected to leave enough room when I plopped in a sugar cube?

Today, over a large go-cup of tea with a secure lid, I engaged in a discussion about directing work, teaching students theater, and working with new actors with a director and instructor from The National Theater Institute.  We each talked about coming to the work as a director, giving the actors or students as much as they can handle, and then giving them just that little bit more. That little extra that causes discomfort, and how to keep them focussed on the work to a good result.

Sometimes it's a good thing that there is a saucer, otherwise the spill would stain the lace cloth on the table.  Most times the saucer just adds to the experience: that little clink when you put the spoon on its lip or the way the cup and the saucer sing when they come together.

The saucer and the cup - quite the team.

Friday, October 04, 2013

The Hallmark of Democracy is Reason

Democracy is this crazy ancient Greek invention. Athenian, to be precise. It invites debate, and an involved citizenry in government. What it relies on to work (and this is another highly prized ancient attribute) is reason. It requires the participants to present reasonable arguments, and for the group to use their skills of reason to suss out the best possible solution. The point is, if you're coming to the debate with the purpose of a hardline unreasonable position, then you are undermining the structure at its foundation. You are more the Spartan oligarch than the Athenian democrat. I'm taking this minute to point this out. HEAR ME WASHINGTON? And thus ends my political rant for the day.