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LAMANCHA - Letter to Cast
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A Letter to the cast on the occasion of closing our show.

October 28, 2002

Friends, Colleagues, fellow prisoners...

I'm taking a moment to reflect on our travels together on the road to La
Mancha. It's been a few days now and the growing awareness that I will not
be stepping on stage this Thursday to embody that silly, graceful old man
leaves me a little bereft and already nostalgic for the continuity,
comradeship and sense of being a part of something greater than myself...
that filled our nights for more than 8 weeks.

What I really want to say is thank you. Especially to those of you who
lurked in the shadows, watching, responding, approving... Without your
commitment, creativity and simple belief, none of us with more words to say
could have given the play its resonance.

The theatre at its best has always sought to transform an audience... to
transport them out of their seats, out of the worries of their day, and give
them the collective sense that their private musings are somehow universal...
On Sunday's matinee, a man walked up to me, obviously wishing to say
something kind, but when he opened his mouth to speak, he choked up, he
couldn't speak... he just shook his head and clasped my hand and walked
away... Another little lady with a cane, eyes red, clearly moved, said
simply, smiling, "My heart hurts...it hurts..." This was not uncommon for
many who witnessed our little moment of creation. Men, women, children, of
all ages seemed struck by something in the secret corner of their hearts...

These were folks who, for a brief moment in time, were transported and saw
life - not as it is - but, perhaps, as it ought to be... who in their secret
heart saw the washrag of their own life and suddenly regarded it as
gossamer.

For the theatre to accomplish this is no simple matter. It's more than just
good direction or good acting... It takes a great ladle of serendipity - and
the embrace of many like-minded people -- who love the art and are willing to
sacrifice something of themselves to gain the the simpler joy of artistic
fellowship.

In 1897, the Moscow Art Theatre found in Chekhov's play, The Seagull, an
image that would come to represent their theatre for the rest of the 20th
century - a simple line-drawing of a gull in flight. We are not a theatre
company - although perhaps in a fairer world we would have been - but we have
been forged by that same fire. And for me at least, I will always hold our
production as a gossamer token and wear it proudly in my hat.

Many thanks to you; Fred, the cast - each one of you, Larry, Martine, the musicians,
the wonderful crew. My abiding affection to you all...

Don Quixote de La Mancha...
Tom

© Copyright Tom Fulton 2001-1004