Family Medical Leave

Hope Feeling Grateful - photo by Julie Curry

A few of you know that my father had triple bypass heart surgery a week ago, followed by pacemaker insertion yesterday morning.  I posted my last two reviews using my laptop and the free wireless Internet access in his hospital room while he was sleeping.

My father is doing very well, thank goodness.  In fact, he gets to go home today!  I am very, very grateful that a) my father is doing well, b) he has a loving family plus a special friend to help him, and c) my day job allows me to take time off to be with them.

I am taking time off from my theatre habit, too.  I will not see any shows at all for the next two-three weeks.

I do, however, hope to see the following shows in November:

** “Golda’s Balcony” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre.  I am always drawn to one-person shows and this promises to be especially thought-provoking.

** The “June 8, 1968″/”Drunk Enough to Say I Love You” double feature at the Phoenix Theatre.  I have this on my calendar because even though I haven’t worked on a theatrical show anywhere in more than a decade, if I had a “home theatre,” it would be the Phoenix.   I put the Phoenix’ shows on my calendar before anyone else’s.  However, I am particularly intrigued by the next Phoenix offering because:  

  • It is a two-fer
  • There are actors I admire in both casts, including Doug Johnson, who was in the Phoenix’s production of “Fat Pig,” by Neil LaBute, which is the show that prompted my first attempt to write about theatre publicly
  • This will be the midwest premiere of “Drunk Enough” (I love going to premieres!)
  • Scot Greenwell, that talented cutie from “Little Shop of Horrors,” is directing it.   I had no idea he was also a director!

** “Evil Dead: The Musical” at Theatre on the Square.  Way back in August, one day during the 2008 Indy Fringe Festival, Matt Panesh, the “Monkey Poet” from England, was chatting with me on Massachusetts Avenue.  He glanced over at the TOTS windows, where all of their forthcoming season posters were already up.  “Blimey!” Matt said.  “Are they doing ‘Evil Dead’?!  That’s brilliant!” 

Of course, there has been a lot of buzz about this bloody-bizarre show since then, including the announcement that Waldo Ottoman Warshaw, the Broadway blood guy from “Lieutenant of Inishmore,” is doing the blood work for this piece, too, but Panesh’s interest was all I needed.

** “Lysistrata” by the Sapphire Theatre CompanyEarlier this month I wrote quite a bit about this new professional theatre company and what I had learned about its initial production ahead of time.  I want to actually see the show, too!  I hope to receive media passes for future Sapphire productions, but I’m buying a ticket this first time because…it’s the first time!  (I love first times.)

But speaking of media passes, thanks very much, Ulrike Steinert, Sharon Gamble, and Ron Spencer, for agreeing to give me press passes for your shows even though I will not be seeing them until late in their runs.  I believe that online reviews are, or should be, really about audience development for theatres and artists over time even though they seem to be about individual shows, but I know that not every theatre person understands that, so I admire you for being able to see the big picture.  Anyway, this is the best I can do, so thanks, again.

I am very sorry that I will not be able to attend Storytelling Arts of Indiana’s premiere of this year’s Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship pieces.  It will be my first time to miss this special event since it started more than ten years ago!  The two pieces will debut at the Indiana History Center on Saturday, November 1st at 7:30.   In the past, the Basile winners have come from all over the state.  This year, both winners are based in Indianapolis.

One Basile recipient is Cynthia Goodyear, whose sweet telling style is always comforting yet at the same time has a deep thread of feistiness running through it.  I told with her at a Renaissance Fair a few years ago.  Her Basile piece is autobiographical and called “Life as a Folktale.”

The other Basile recipient is Deborah Asante.  She is the founder and artistic director of The Asante Children’s Theatre.  I told with her at a small storytelling festival at the Anderson Public Library a few years ago.  I always enjoy the warm humor in her stories for little kids and teens, but I would love to hear her Basile piece, which is called “Enough Love: Love Stories for Adults Only.”  It is based on interviews of a variety of women.

But everything happens for a reason.  I am enjoying spending time with my father, too.  He was and is the first storyteller in my life.  He says I used to insist on “more! more!” songs whenever he walked past my crib in my parents’ tiny first apartment.  I don’t remember this, but I believe it.  I do remember asking him for “stories of olden days” as a child and him telling me about him and his friends digging forts in the field behind their houses.

Beloved blog readers, I will be logging on every day in order to stay on stop of the spam, so if you are able to take a moment to leave me a real comment telling me what you have seen or thought about during my “dark” weekends, you will make my day and I will post your comment gratefully.  (Or not, if you tell me you do not want me to post it.)

Or please tell me a joke.  I have been reading The Healing Power of Humor, by Allen Klein.  Klein quotes a book about Abraham Lincoln:

“Lincoln’s ability to laugh, even during the bleakest days of the war, often astonished the people who worked with him.  At one meeting during a bloody phase of the Civil War, the cabinet sat dumbfounded while he read aloud from a book of humor.  After he finished he admonished the others: ‘Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh?  If I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do.'”

In any case, please check my blog again on Monday, November 10, 2008.  As always, thanks for reading.

Hope Baugh –

3 thoughts on “Family Medical Leave”

  1. Dear Hope,

    I am so happy to hear your father is doing well. He is very lucky to have so much love surrounding him. As a former home health care nurse I can tell you -that makes all the difference.
    It was during “Mid-Life” at TOTS that I first discovered you on IA (thanks to Ms. Cruz) and have been a huge fan ever since. I love IndyTheatreHabit and always look forward to your thoughtful and passionate reviews and articles. You are a joy and a gift and provide Indianapolis Theatres, patrons and artists with such a great service. It always amazes me just how many shows you see in a week! Thank you.
    I am sure that I can speak for the whole community when I say “We will miss you and await your return”. Take care of your father, take care of you, and enjoy a little time to yourself-you deserve it.
    I can’t think of a single joke. I’ll consult Bonnie Mills and get back to you. She’ll have some from the Lysistrata auditions.

    Cindy Phillips

  2. hello Hope,

    haven’t seen any theatre or the encores either this past weekend, but just wanted to wish you and your dad/family well! I’m sure it’s a little scary/stressful for all of you since health issues always are…sending good thoughts.
    Loved reading above how you’ve loved stories since you were teeny. Your dad’s lucky to have you!
    here’s a silly halloween joke: what do you get when you cross Dracula and Sleeping Beauty?
    tired blood. (o;

  3. Thanks very much, Cindy and Gail! I really appreciate your kind sympathy and encouragement.

    Gail, thanks for the Halloween joke. Cindy, thanks for sending me the “keep it private” joke, too. I laughed out loud at both of them!

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