The second Sunday of June is a huge day for me, a day when an anxious, eager audience sits in a theatre watching many performers grace the stage with performances and thank yous, sharing gifts, making magic, celebrating the year (and years) gone by.
It weighs on my mind today because this is the anniversary of a beautiful event in my life, the opening night of the first U.S. amateur production of the musical, “Spring Awakening” of which I was the director. It was a magical experience. When first it was suggested to me that I return to directing, to having anything to do with theatre, I said what I thought was an unequivocal no. I kept saying no until I said yes. It was the right choice. The cosmos blessed the production, a glorious group of people came together, cast, crew, support team, to become a collection of people we came to call “Team Love & Light.”
At that point in my life, I no longer much believed that I would ever again find it in myself to trust people, let alone love people. I had been sorely disappointed by the ways in which past trust and love had turned out. But Team Love & Light gave me faith, embrace, and in a strange twist of truth, the courage to know that leaving theatre and the life I had led in theatre arts behind, was, in fact, the right path for me to follow. “Spring Awakening” was a gift from the cosmos, a gift of being able to say on a loving, light-filled note, “Good-bye.” I could not have asked for a better final curtain call.
And so today, I am thinking of that, remembering it with great rushes of joy as I contemplate next Sunday, that second Sunday in June. In some ways it is difficult for me that I am not in the audience nor on the stage. But one makes choices. Life is what it is. And though I will not be there for the magic nor the gifts nor the thank yous, though I will be invisible, unlikely to be mentioned or seen, still, I will, as I do every year, be watching it with my friends, my own little portion of Team Love & Light, enjoying, weeping, and celebrating the Tony Awards.