Sad Dress

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

There had been this guy who went to Bradford in the years before I got there and he had been beloved by all. He was struck by lightning while coming in from surfing in the summer before his senior year and he died. It turns out one of the last things he did in his last semester at Bradford was act in a scene from the very play I was directing as part of the 1997 Student Theater Festival. And, it so happened that some of the people that knew him well were at my dress rehearsal the night before we opened.

Skip, who had graduated the year before, was helping out with lights and stage managing and such. He had acted with the famous Ho*Nut in the scene from Zoo Story a few years before. He’d seen bits and pieces of the show before dress, but it wasn’t until Wendy, a senior who had lived with Louann the year before, came that the tears flowed.

I don’t know that my production was particularly moving or that I did a good enough job to make people cry for any reason that I had control over, but when I saw them cry watching the show’s finale I was deeply moved. I hadn’t realized what kind of memory I might be drudging up for people in selecting Albee’s haunting play about two men and the bench they argue over.

It made me hope I’d done a good enough job. It made me hope that Jason and Prok would pull it off and then some the following night.

It made me hope and it made me wonder.