Pine needles and small branches on the ground with many fern fronds and a few small plants sprouting alongside a trio of bright white trillium blossoms, the stems about 10 inches high. The blossom facing the camera has a light-yellow center.
The beautiful Northwest Trillium

Nurturing a garden

My dear friend Sue Mach, who teaches at Clackamas Community College, invited me to read some plays that she had helped shepherd onto the page by her students. She is collaborating with fellow teacher Jessica Wallenfels, and these short works will be presented at Clackamas Community College by the acting students of Ms. Wallenfels over a weekend starting on May 23 at 7:30pm. The evening is titled Fire Season. If the pieces Sue’s husband — my friend Bruce Burkhartsmeier and I — read that first day are the pieces that will make up that final evening, then opening night will be hot! Pun intended. But what, indeed, took my breath away was the loving care Sue and Jessica, brought to these students. As we read the works for the first time, there was a palpable blanket of care over the group. That kindness, compassion and shared courage are beautifully found in the process led by Ms. Mach and Ms. Wallenfels. Thank you, Sue, and Jessica, for what you bring to our community! Now you can further nurture this community garden of students by seeing their opening night or subsequent performances, beginning Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm at The Niermeyer Theater.

It takes two, baby!

Another place where community nurturing reigns is in Audio Description. This last weekend I had the immense pleasure of moderating an Audio Description Fundamentals class with Audio Description Training Retreats. If you’re interested in learning about AD, it’s a terrific place to study. We spent three days diving into the audio description and working on live describing the 1953 film Roman Holiday. One of my jobs was to provide students with supportive sites to visit as they continue their AD journey. My blog editor extraordinaire, who shall remain nameless, has reminded me to go easy on the links. Not too many. So I’ll put a couple in each blog post to keep the community’s juices flowing. The first of this month is

Being Heumann, An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. This link will zip you to an audio book which is read by Tony award-winning actor Ali Stroker, and the second, because I am all jazzed up on sports after watching the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, is a nod to the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris!

It takes a village

I was onstage at Portland Center Stage in Nassim on Sunday, April 14 at 2pm. I’ve linked here to the entire run because whether you saw me on the 14th, or not, you can see another stellar member of our garden of game folx who are willing to brave a stage without knowing what on earth might happen! From Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour comes an audacious new theatrical experiment. Each night, a new, unrehearsed local performer (THAT WAS ME) joins the playwright on stage, (OR DO YOU?) while the script waits, unseen, in a sealed box … touchingly autobiographical yet powerfully universal, NASSIM is a striking theatrical demonstration of how language can both divide and unite us.

I am also thrilled to share that one of my artistic homes, Artists Repertory Theater, will reopen in May. Don’t miss Encore: A Festival of Staged Readings on May 21–24, or the gala on May 18, marking the theater’s return to 1515 SW Morrison. Tickets will be available for that event soon. Encore: A Festival of Stage Readings is a four-evening festival, a journey through the decades, showcasing the rich history and diverse talents that have defined Artists Rep. I’m working on the event titled Replays: An 80’s Flashback, with Allen Nause, Vana O’Brien, Alana Byington, Marilyn Stacey and loads of other Artists Rep beauties!

Moon river

This month’s moon is the pink moon, named for the lovely pink wildflowers that are beginning to bloom. April 23 is the night! I wrote a little poem for my newsletter this month, and it had a typo, so here’s the edited version and a link to sign up for my newsletter, if you’re game.

Roses are red
Hives in the tree.

The moon will be full
On four-twenty-three.

The eclipse was a stunner
It made me think.

Why is the full moon this month called pink?