In Like A Lion

By on 23 February, 2018 in Art, Fun, Sarah Thornton with 0 Comments

“March is a month of expectation.”– Emily Dickinson

This month is a very busy and exciting time at the Cloverdale Playhouse. March is a time of shift as we experience the thaw of winter that leads into the bloom (and allergy season) of spring. I’ve always found that the period of seasonal shift brings with it a change in energies for all of the elements of nature. The birds and critters are twitterpated, the buds are beginning to form on the previously resting branches, but it’s deeper than that. There is a feeling of newness, of excitement and anticipation for the time ahead.

The Playhouse is shifting gears with the seasons as we move out of one mainstage show into the next. The beautiful, Christmas-y 1870s home for A Doll’s House will soon be a fond memory and the blank slate of an empty stage will begin to morph into a 1950s Pittsburgh backyard with a whole new story to tell. The Playhouse School’s spring term has begun, and the children bring with them such an eagerness to learn and play and explore the theater world. Their wonder and excitement is contagious and serves as a reminder to find the joy in the work with each new project.

While these new beginnings will not come to fruition until next month, we will get to watch as they grow and develop over time. The process is, to me, the most exciting part! But just as in nature, we can begin to see glimpses of what will eventually blossom. In the meantime, we have so many other exciting events that the month will fly by!

We begin this month with the first Playhouse Cabaret of the season. The Cabaret has been a very popular evening in our building with director Randy Foster at the helm. The rotating cast performs songs from Broadway and beyond to benefit arts education in Alabama, with proceeds going to the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts and the Cloverdale Playhouse School. And in the spirit of new energy, this year the Cabaret will move from the cozy downstairs space to the mainstage!

It has been a Playhouse tradition to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an evening of Irish writers and songs known as “Irish Voices.” Last year, we tried something new and celebrated Irish playwrights by doing a staged reading of a haunting Irish play called The Weir. The success of that performance encouraged us to continue down the path of Irish playwrights with this year’s selection of Frank McGuinness’s masterpiece Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. It is a powerful story of three prisoners of war from starkly different backgrounds who find themselves locked together in a life-or-death situation that tests their humanity. They must overcome their differences and learn to lean on one another for strength. The play examines a deeper kind of change, that of the heart, and the profound power of hope. Change and hope seem to be themes perfect for March.

We will also be welcoming back some familiar and favorite faces for our March Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull! Young and extremely talented siblings Mac and V.K. Spencer (whose previous performance at the Pull was hailed as one of the best) will be joining Wyatt Espalin (also a returning favorite) for what is shaping up to be an excellent night of live music. The recent success of “Commit to the Song,” a feature-length documentary about the history and importance of the Songwriters’ Night filmed by Josh Carples, has us more excited than ever to put another Guitar Pull on the stage.

With everything coming up in the next few weeks, we hope you will join us as we continue to grow and change in our seventh season in Cloverdale. We can’t wait to see what blooms!

Sarah Walker Thornton is the Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse, who walks like a New Yorker and waves like an Alabama girl. She is a product of a Montgomery arts education, with several years of life in NYC thrown in for extra flavor.

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