In response to the Covid-19 spread, we decided to hunker down at home on the 13th of March. It has been 16 days now, and we were apparently clear of exposure, so far. We are doing our best to keep chins up: we are doing mindfulness practice and yoga a few times a week, I am out weeding and tending to the garden, about to plant some lettuce and arugula so we have some fresh produce in the coming weeks, and we are ever grateful for our dog, Demi, who gives us unconditional love and emotional support. We pray for the health and strength of our family and friends, our relatives in Italy, and all over the world.
My profession is taking a huge hit, both on an institutional level and personal. Work is shuttered. Much Ado About Nothing was postponed until next season, and the new Theresa Rebeck play Enlightenment which I was scheduled to rehearse in August has been pushed back a full year. Can theaters in Washington survive? When I first came here there were 5 theaters, now somewhere around 80. I expect many of the smaller theaters, and perhaps some of the larger institutions will be damaged, if not silenced forever. It is a very sad time everywhere.
However, we as artists continue to express ourselves via the net. My dear old friend and colleague, Michael Gaston, (who was in a production of Fuente Ovejuna with me in the early 90’s at the Shakesepeare Theatre at the Folger) started a hashtag #readasonnet. It’s fantastic. Folks are getting up, recording and posting a piece. Patrick Stewart started reading Shakespeare on Twitter as well. It’ a thing. Check it out. Here is my contribution.
Sonnet 91 #readasonnet
I believe, like the monks of the Middle Ages who gathered and conserved the great books of culture and held them in safe-keeping, we as artists have a responsibilit to bring our culture and values forward through our art. There will be an end to this, there will be a Renaissance, and we will flock to the arts, to meet, collect, reflect, exhult, exhalt, and celebrate our humanity in theatres and concerts halls, opera houses, and art museums and galleries across the world.