We’re still feeling the effects of lost sleep, but we’re also basking in the glow of the most dramatically successful program we’ve ever produced. Sitting in the darkened theater Sunday afternoon watching such a challenging, one-and-only walk through of Carry it Forward, the evening’s program, I wondered if we hadn’t taken on more than we could handle. This was our most ambitious theatrical undertaking. We’d orchestrated at least one minimally staged scene before, but what we planned this time was much more than our typical set of readers interspersed with music and poetry. We had readers, poetry and music, but this year we also included a small troupe of actors performing three separate scenes, a set of slides running in the background, and a photomontage set to music. However, at the close of the evening one of our technical experts summed up the event as “a catastrophe waiting to happen -- that didn’t.”
Every scene worked as planned. The sound was terrific, the lighting correct, and the audience loved it. Here’s a sampling of comments we’ve received.
“It was just a gorgeous production. Even friends who couldn’t make it heard from others that it was quite perfect.”
“This was a wonderful evening. You really put together a terrific show.”
“What a wonderful, sensitive, beautiful and inspirational evening the RFC put on last night! [We] walked home to Chelsea, talking nonstop about all we had experienced at your event.”
“What a magnificent event! …. I joined forces with all of you.”
“Last night’s event was amazing. Really inspiring and moving…”
“It was very VERY wonderful and seemed to go without a hitch. We loved every minute of it, loved the enthusiasm of the audience, as well as the beautiful and touching production itself.”
One performer wrote:
“I feel honored and humbled to have been a part of such an important and heartfelt experience. [C]ongratulations on creating such a memorable moment in time.”
I’ll close with the final paragraph of a post entitled, "I wish I could have heard Ethel sing," on the blog Read Red.
“The Town Hall program the other night ended with a rousing rendition of the Bob Marley/Peter Tosh song 'Get Up Stand Up,' performed by Latino hip hoppers Rebel Diaz with folk duo Mike + Ruthy. Gathered onstage singing along were the evening’s narrator Angela Davis, the Rosenberg sons Michael and Robby Meeropol, Carry it Forward writer Ellen Meeropol, Ethel & Julius’s granddaughter Jenn Meeropol who’s the new head of the RFC, and all the actors and performers who had brought the evening to life with their portrayals of activist targets of government repression who have been RFC beneficiaries. We the audience, including many elders who were the Rosenbergs’ contemporaries, who marched for them, who wept at their deaths, who still know which side they’re on, and the rest of us, we got up, we stood up, we sang too, and at the risk of sounding mawkish I think we all of us felt an echo of Ethel and Julius singing along with us, our martyrs whose voices have never been stilled.”
A number of people have asked if it was filmed. Yes, it was, and we hope to have something we can share with you before too long.
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