Sad news this week. The artistic director of Heartland Theatre Company, Mike Dobbins, died, after a sudden health crisis. Alas.
He was a fun, funny, hardworking guy. We had Nebraska and Illinois in common. He directed me in my first play at Heartland, Skylight, by David Hare, in which I cooked a spaghetti dinner onstage, and we had to rig up a sink with running water. We did it.
The show must go on.
So, the show will go on tonight: New Plays from the Heartland, one-acts on the theme of "the Aha! moment." I'm feeling for Gail, his wife, and all the actors and crew who have worked with Mike in the past. It's like a "paper cut to the heart," the title of one of tonight's plays, by Terri Ryburn. I'm sort of afraid to see it. But maybe it's funny, and we'll all come together laughing. Or crying. Or both.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, and taught college English courses. Now I write poetry, blog "eight days a week," and listen to birdsong.