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The Winds of August

I’m back from two road trips, one sailing with vagabond friends on Washington’s Puget Sound. Below is a photo of me at the tiller. I loved the physics of the wind across the sails — an invisible force with the power to move a two-ton boat. In the same way something as abstract as thematic intent can move a story.

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The other trip was to Ashland, Oregon to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Animal Crackers. Never in my life have I seen such chaos and hilarity on stage. And yet not totally frivolous. Director Allison Narver put it this way: “To create a theatrical event that is just plain fun in the midst of our own troubled times is of real importance to me. As theatre critic John Lahr has said, ‘Frivolity is the species’ refusal to suffer.’ As much as theatre must challenge, provoke and deepen our understanding of the world, it has an equally pressing responsibility — to engage us in the exuberance of being alive, reminding us that a little frivolity can be serious business.” Yes! Let’s hear it for comedy in all of its forms.