Lincoln as Touchstone Plus Two Mini-Reviews

“Penny From Heaven” photo by Caitlin Heller

When President-Elect Obama spoke to the crowd in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday night, he referred to Abraham Lincoln.  Here is the excerpt:

 “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.  Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national security.  Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.  As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.’  And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”

I am honored to have been commissioned to create a new, 90-minute storytelling piece that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.  This program is part of the Sharing Hoosier History through Stories collaboration between the Indiana History Center and Storytelling Arts of Indiana.  I will share the piece for the first time at 4:00 on Sunday, January 18, 2009 at the Indiana History Center.  I hope you will join me.  To purchase tickets, please call 317-232-1882 or visit

In the meantime, my father is continuing to heal well from his surgery and I am ready to resume writing about live theatre and storytelling in the Indianapolis area.  Thank you to everyone who sent us kind and encouraging words during my blogging hiatus.

Up next: detailed reviews of “Golda’s Balcony” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre and the double-header at the Phoenix Theatre.  Short versions:

“Golda’s Balcony” is a beautiful and inspiring one-woman show based on the life of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.   In addition to a wealth of historical and biographical information, this show also gave me a lot to think about in terms of the differences and similarities between theatre pieces and oral tradition storytelling pieces.  “Golda’s Balcony” continues at Civic through Sunday, November 16, 2008.

The combination of “June 8, 1968,” by Anna Theresa Cascio, and “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You,” by Caryl Churchill, at the Phoenix is not feel-good theatre, nor is it do-gooder theatre.  You won’t come home wearing a smile on your face or vowing to make a difference in the world.   However, it is artistically interesting theatre and the acting is excellent.  This double-feature continues at the Phoenix through Saturday, November 15, 2008.

More soon…

Hope Baugh –