ON THIS DAY . . .
- . . . . in 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education was decided. In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unanimous decision, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.
- . . . in 1973, televised Watergate hearings began.
- . . . in 1974, the Los Angeles Police Department raided the hideout of the Symbionese Liberation Army (notorious for kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst), leaving six members dead.
- . . . in 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage was performed in Massachusetts.
FAREWELL . . .
Jane Little, world's longest-serving orchestra musician, who died this past Sunday during a performance of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The symphony was performing a pops concert called, "Broadway's Golden Age." Jane was 30 seconds from the last measures of "There's No Business Like Show Business" when she collapsed.
"THERE'S NO SETTLING DOWN WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS . . . "
Following is a portion from an interview I did with playwright, Allison Gregory. This summer the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) is producing Gregory's play, Not Medea. It is a modern, quirky take on Euripides famous play, Medea, in which Medea kills her children in an act of vengeance when her husband, Jason leaves her for another women. Here is how CATF describes Not Medea:
What if the show you came to see is not the show you need to see? A working mother escapes to the sanctuary of the theater and encounters a play she desperately doesn’t want to watch, so she hijacks the show—and the audience—leading them through her own very personal story. A synthesis of myth/magic/real world, NOT MEDEA is a funny and fierce slap-down about love, lust, motherhood, and forgiveness. And something else entirely.
CATF: Here are some lines from Not Medea: “There’s a certain insanity to being a mother.” “Children are sometime a burden.” “Parents are most of the time filled with dread.” Are you a stressed-out mother?
ALLISON: Is there a mother who isn’t stressed out? I think that’s part of the territory.
CATF: Kathryn Hepburn once said: “Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it. It didn’t interest me, so I didn’t do it. Anyway, I would have been a terrible parent. The first time my child didn’t do what I wanted, I would have killed him.”
ALLISON: I completely identify with that. Steven, my husband, and I talk about our bad parenting moments or days. The moments often stretch into days. We’ll talk about it and say, “Yeah, I wasn’t proud of that.” We are parents who everyday are trying to be better parents. Luckily, kids are hopeful and forgiving.
CATF: Let me follow up with an Anne Sexton quote: “All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children. I was trying my damnest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can’t build little white picket fences to keep the nightmares out.”
ALLISON: That’s really powerful. There’s this assumption that when you settle down and have kids, you somehow fall into these conventions, and frankly, my experience of it was and continues to be that there’s no settling down when you have kids. Everything comes up and everything falls apart. It’s a huge disruption on a daily, often minute-by-minute, basis. And I’m not talking about losing a child. I’m talking about the day-to-day of trying to be a parent.
Losing a child is so unfathomable to me that I was able to go there in this play because I knew it wasn’t me. I hoped in writing it, I would take part of that experience with me and have a little bit more occupying the whole of what life is. God willing, we don’t all lose a child, but we might have a bigger footstep in the world if we did.
Is parenting a huge disruption -- day to day?
Are parents, most of the time, filled with dread?
TODAY'S TRUTH . . .