Friday, July 5, 2013

Fifth of July

Fifth of July is not just a date, it’s a play by Lanford Wilson.  It opened off-Broadway in 1978, then, after some revision, on Broadway in 1980.  It’s also the play that was the starting point of my doctoral studies and the subject of my doctoral thesis in 1988.

In 1985 I directed a production of the play at the Nomad Theatre in Boulder with a great cast.

Fifth of July Nomads March 1985

The cast of Fifth of July at Nomads Theatre, Boulder, Colorado, March 1985

In the course of my studies I became friends with Mr. Wilson, and the director of the productions, Marshall W. Mason. So ever since then, I have marked the 5th of July as a special day for me and my love of theatre.

“Matt didn’t believe in death and I don’t either…. There’s no such thing. It goes on and then it stops. You can’t worry about the stopping, you have to worry about the going on.” – Sally Talley, Fifth of July.

Speaking of theatre history, in looking for that picture from Fifth of July, I came across this little piece of nostalgia:

Music Man 1979

Yeah, that’s me directing my first musical, The Music Man, at Benzie Central High School in the spring of 1979, in Benzonia, Michigan. The picture was taken at final dress rehearsal.  We had a great time, and somehow it gave me the idea that I could be a director. Actually, I’m much better at doing other things, but we still had fun and the audience loved it.

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