This season is all about gifts and true meaning and spirit and love and food and new beginnings and family. Ah, that loaded word, “family.” What do I mean by family? Yes, there are the people we grew up with, the ones we are related to, but to me family is something more than that. It is a feeling and you don’t have to grow up with to recognize, you just know it when you feel it deep in your soul. To me, family is warmth, safety and acceptance, it is looking after one another, it is love. I have that feeling when AboutFACE meets in Alan’s kitchen for our Christmas drinks, I’m so thankful for that group of people.
Last summer Paul and I were lucky enough to be asked to be part of The McGowan Trilogy by Seamus Scanlon, a co-production between the cell in NY and Kino-Teatr in St. Leonard’s on Sea, UK. It was an adventure as the Kino was just opening their doors (a fabulous refurbished cinema that had been closed for 40 years) and though we had met Olga (Owner, Artistic Director and Programmer, Kino-Teatr) in Ireland the previous Christmas it was to be our first time in St. Leonards and our first time doing the show in front of a primarily British audience. It was truly an adventure.
Kira (Artistic Director, the cell and director of the show), Mackenzie (Assistant GM, the cell) and Paul were joined by Nancy (Founding Artistic Director, the cell), Seamus and me; the rest of the cast and crew were brought on by Kino and off we all went creating theatre in a new space. Of course we had our ups and downs, but we had meals together when we could, we took a day trip to Brighton and we created our own little family on the English coast.
I’m not sure why it happens with plays, maybe it is the vulnerable, intimate work you do together or the fact that it is temporary, but during production a family is often created. I love that about this work, as you can imagine as a grace junky, I’m quite partial to that feeling of family where, though you will be challenged, you can count on being loved.