We hope your new year is off to a good start. To say that 2020 was a challenging year is a massive understatement, and while we don't know what the immediate future holds, we must move forward and plan for what comes next! And believe us when we say -- what is coming is exciting!
A new year means new possibilities, setting goals that challenge you -- a chance to step outside your comfort zone and try something bold and new! In that spirit, we are thrilled to announce that we are currently in the early stages of creating an original play with music to be produced next year.
We are working with our friend and 2020 Piedmont Laureate, Tamara Kissane, to create a play based on an event in the life of author Franz Kakfa.
“Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way." --- Kafka
Kafka and the doll
The play we are creating is based on a beautiful story about an event in Kafka's life. Here is that story: When he was 40, the renowned Bohemian novelist and short story writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, was strolling through Steglitz Park in Berlin, when he chanced upon a young girl crying her eyes out because she had lost her favorite doll. She and Kafka looked for the doll without success. Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would look again. The next day, when they still had not found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter "written" by the doll that said, “Please do not cry. I have gone on a trip to see the world. I'm going to write to you about my adventures." Thus began a story that continued to the end of Kafka’s life. When they would meet, Kafka read aloud his carefully composed letters of adventures and conversations about the beloved doll, which the girl found enchanting. Finally, Kafka read her a letter of the story that brought the doll back to Berlin, and he then gave her a doll he had purchased. "This does not look like my doll at all," she said. Kafka handed her another letter that explained, "My trips, they have changed me." The girl hugged the new doll and took it home with her. A year later, Kafka died. Many years later, the now grown-up girl found a letter tucked into an unnoticed crevice in the doll. The tiny letter, signed by Kafka, said, “Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way." Needless to say, the potential for this story is immense. The concept of love and loss seems so appropriate after the year we have endured. We envision a story full of fantastical journeys and original music told by a small and diverse cast that looks and sounds like the world we live in. The possibilities are endless! With that in mind we could use your help!
Share your stories
As we begin working on this piece, we would love to hear from you! That's right, we want to engage the community by working WITH YOU to create this magical piece of theatre together. We imagine this project as a work by the people, for the people. We would be grateful if you shared any stories you might have of special childhood dolls or toys (and the adventures you had with them) or even places you fantasized about visiting as a child or now as an adult! Tell us your stories of love, loss, grief, and how your dolls or toys were your best friends and how loving them helped you to grow and evolve into a grown-up. How did that attachment inform your childhood? How did they accompany you on your journey to adulthood? How do these moments in your life relfect on the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and all that has happened to us this past year socially and politically? Here are a couple of examples: David's step-son, Cody, had a stuffed dog that was left behind on a trip. A kind person found the dog, tracked down the address and sent the dog back to Cody in Wake Forest...but the dog wasn't alone! There was another stuffed animal in the package and note that said, "I missed you, but I made a new friend to keep me company"
Susannah had a doll named Muffin (in a recent photo above) that was her constant companion throughout her childhood. One time, Muffin accompanied Susannah on a backpacking trip through the Southwest, and went away for an evening with some young Navajo children who were entranced by the doll and had precious little to call their own. When the children returned Muffin to a lonely and sad Susannah the next day, she was wearing a corn cob crown that had been made by the children as a loving gesture.
What are your stories?
Who or what did you love?
Who or what did you lose?
Has love remained or come back to you in a new form?
We would like this play to come from our community, so PLEASE share your stories with us. You can email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can't wait to hear them! We are also looking for local musicians to work with us on creating the original music for this piece. We are looking for people from all genres of music. If you are a musician or know any that might be interested, please let us know!
To learn more about Tamara Kissane, please visit : https://artistsoapbox.org
“Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way."
During 2020, we lost theatre as we know it.
The pandemic halted our ability to be in the same room with you.
Theatre companies had to pivot fast. Everything changed, but it is coming back! It might be different than we remember, but it is coming!
2021 is still young. There is a lot of uncertainty still ahead. But, thanks to you, our supporters, we are entering this year with a desire to create something new!
We are so excited about what lies ahead and we can't wait to share the process with YOU!
Drink Deep, David and Susannah