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Art In The Time of Corona

Dear Friends,

(photo by Julie Fogh)

What a surreal 8 months it has been since I last sent an update! I hope you have found ways to stay safe, healthy, and joyful as the world burns, rages, and suffers the scourge of a pandemic. 

I have certainly gone through a rollercoaster of emotions. Mourning creative opportunities that were cancelled (bye-bye to playing Frank N Furter in American Conservatory Theatre’s Rocky Horror Show, sniff). Abhorring the awkward loneliness of performing over Zoom. Appreciating the clever ways that artists are engaging with the medium. Recoiling in horror from the state of social media political discourse and taking a life-giving break from those platforms. Despairing over the smokey air and orange skies of my fire-plagued coast. Falling in love again with San Francisco as I hike and bike all over the city. Having my heart and belly fed by our new indoor garden and its harvest of beans, peas, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, and rosemary. 

I am grateful for unemployment insurance (thank you, labor movement) and for our ability to adapt (thank you, Mother Nature), which are helping me discover new ways to be in the world and new ways to create. Here are some of the projects I’ve been working on in quarantine.

Just in time for the election, I adapted and directed a radio play version of Seeing Red, the musical I wrote with Joan Holden and Ira Marlowe for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, about a Trump supporter on Election Night 2020, who gets taken back to 1912--when the Socialist Party was winning millions of American votes--and discovers a new path out of the despair and cynicism of the current moment.

This version runs only 29 minutes and comes with a handy Teacher's Guide so let me know, educator friends, if you would like to use this in your classrooms to teach a piece of American history that is not talked about enough. Discovering American socialist history has really expanded my political vision and learning the ins and outs of radio drama has been thrilling!

Listen to Seeing Red here!


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