Online Hubbub: Let Me Down Easy, Monday, September 15, 2008

Which character was your favorite and why?

“It’s really difficult to choose one…Ms. Smith is so gifted and each character was wonderful. The young woman who had lost all her family…who told the story of her mother being killed. The woman who had the task of caring for the children, some with AIDS, in the orphanage, Gov. Ann Richards, and the woman who loved Shubert…those were my favorites.” –Christine H.

“The last character speaking about the readiness of the child who was going to meet her mother. I was deeply touched by this because I lost my husband two months ago and he was very prepared and ready for death and his calmness has helped me in my own transition.” –Blanche M.

“The Stanford student and the monk. The student was resilient in the face of great trauma. The monk was joyous, dismissive, and open at the same time — a grand range of emotions that did not seem to contradict each other.”—Nirmal T.

“Ann Richards is hard not to love.” –Tom F.

“The physican in New Orleans – her learning about grace.” –ml

Who else would you suggest that Anna interview in her ongoing exploration of grace?

“Other artists. I loved the inclusion of Jessye Norman.” –Tom F.

“A young teacher who gracefully teaches despite seeming insurmountable challenges.” –Nirmal T.

“Teenagers.”—Christine H.

Have you experienced grace in your life? How?

“The last months of a friend lost recently to a brain tumor.” –ml

“Well, I am an inner city high school teacher…which requires tons of patience, and, yes, grace! And I have worked with dedicated people, and have taught students who became inspirations to me.”—Christine H.

“Yes. I lost my husband recently and he was only 53 and since his passing two months ago to the day (this performance felt like the exact place where I was meant to be on this 2 month anniversary) I have felt the presence of my husband constantly since his death and he guides me constantly continuing to offer me life lessons just as he did when he was here. I know he was with me today in the theater and I felt comforted. I think this is my idea of grace. The comfort of it does not just come from what people call “god.” My husband, George, offers me grace each and every day and he never leaves me so I don’t ever feel alone.” –Blanche M.

“My mother’s walk. Being schizophrenic and manic depressive hasn’t stopped her from having a sense of panache when she walks.”—Nirmal T.

“When my father died several years ago, we were in a procession from the church service to the burial and drove by a man (about my father’s own age) who was taking in his garbage cans from the curb. When he saw us, he paused and took off his baseball cap until we passed — perhaps the most touching gesture of the day, and from a complete stranger. It made me smile.” –Tom F.

Other comments?

“Anna’s work powerfully captures the enormously important figure of the witness. An enormously important figure for contemporary society with so many travesties and so many spectators and with so few able to bear witness and testify to what is happening to us as a society.”—Nirmal T.

“I have always respected Anna D. Smith and today I felt privileged to see her performance in person. She is a genius and managed to share many profound observations in a creative and moving fashion.”—Blanche M.

“I loved the show. I brought my 19-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, who is a sophomore at Simmons College. She loved it too…had never heard of Ms. Smith, but was very impressed.”—Christine H.

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