Thank you- Thank you- Thank you-
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this project.
Before I begin to dive into all of the people that I would like to thank I want to take a moment to reflect on my five weeks in Italy. Myself and Derick are the last two of our group remaining here in Milan. It’s monday afternoon- we leave for New York Weds morning, so I have one last day here in Milan to take in Gelato, pizza, pasta; one last walk past the Duomo and through the park; one last bottle of wine–
So some parting words from Shakespeare as we began to close our 2011 season in Italy-
“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was… the eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was.”
I am changed by this experience. Nina sent me an email last week- “I have to say that this was probably the most incredible experience I’ve had in my professional career, and maybe in my life!”
I have walked upon some of the oldest roads that exist in the world. I have touched the walls of the Collesium, looked upon the columns of the senate where Julius Caesar walked; Entered into the pantheon built by Agrippa- swam in the mediterranean, stood upon the Rialto Bridge, traversed the fair streets of verona, broken bread with Romans, Milenese; drank beer beneath the columns of San Lorenzo- walked to the top of St. Peters- performed a shakespeare play in an olive grove— spent several weeks sharing in this experience with an amazing group of people. Did everything go perfectly according to plan- of course not. Like any family there were times of frustrations and aggravations- but the scales of our time in Italy are over balanced by the love, the laughter, the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood forged here over these past few weeks. As I have said many times that though we strive for the utmost excellence in ourselves and our work, I believe that in our humanity, we often find perfection in our imperfections.
For me what was my most perfect night in Italy? It would have to be our first night in Rome- the Trestevere Four- now I will preface by saying that I love everyone who came on this trip very much. In Rome, Celeste, Laura Frye, Tristan, and I were housed in a part of Rome called Trestevere- it was the farthest housing possible from transportation, so the four of us decided to take it on ourselves. While getting to and from the theater and downtown Rome was a little bit harder for us, we got the opportunity to explore Trestevere, a wonderful little section of Rome. Our first night, after everyone was settled into their apartments, the four of us put on our nicest, allbeit winkled, clothing and set out to explore our home for the week. The cobble stone streets wind about in patterns my brain never really understood. I was always lost in Trestevere. We found our way to a little restaurant and had the perfect dinner. A couple bottles of wine, some pasta. All of the stresses of the tour went away for a few hours and we laughed and had a dinner that I don’t think any of us will forget. It was the perfect Italian dining experience. We made our way through the winding streets to what we named The American Bar. (mind you we had been in Italy for a few weeks by this time, and were ready for a little American culture). They had Happy Days playing on the TV- bottles of Bud and shots of Jager and Jameson. We made our way back to the American Bar a few times during our week in Rome. In our drunkeness we managed to stumble back to our apartment and up the long steps- I don’t remember walking up the steps that night- I’m not sure if my partners in crime that night do either. There of course was more drunkeness to follow. Pictures from that evening have been locked away in the company vault never to see the light of day except by the Trestevere Four. The days and nights that followed in Rome were great, but that first night was perfect. Coming into this trip, I did not realize how much the bonds of our friendship would deepen. I could also spend some time writing about our first week in Milan- the bottles of wine Nina, Derick, Celeste and I drank while sitting on our terrace on Eustachi breathing our first breaths of Italian air. I could write about the amazing meal Celeste’s parents took us to in Pietro Santa- I could write about how it felt to finally perform this show on the stage of Teatro Franco Parenti in front of 300 people for the first time- I could write about a lot of things– what matters most to me now as I begin to pack my bags and bid farewell is how fortunate I feel to be coming home having forged much stronger bonds of love and friendship- and a sense of pride in the quality of the work we presented here.
With any luck and hope- we will be starting a blog for the 2012 season soon- fingers crossed that we are able to set up a second season.
And now my final Thank You’s—
Thank you to my partners in production- Thank you to Celeste for your endless hours of work, the early morning phone calles to the visa office, booking flights, trains, buses, bicycles, apartments, venues, the multitide of logistics required to move a 14 person company from New York to Milan to Forte dei Marmi to Rome back to Milan and back home to New York, and thank you for the million other things you have done that have gone unmentioned till now.
Thank you to Nina- what an incredible celebration of our first five years of collaboration as business partners in Hyperion this has been. How incredible it is to reflect on what we have acomplished in the past five seasons, and how exciting it is to look forward at what amazing things we will accomplish in the coming years. To succeed in this monomental task so early in the development of our company foreshadows incredible successes yet to come.
Thank you to Derick- sometimes our stage manager, sometimes our counselor, always a dear friend. Thank you for your hours behind the drivers wheel from New York to Chicago to the autostradas of Italia. Thank you for always having a roll of brown electrical tape in your pocket. And we laughed, and we laughed, and we laughed….
Thank you to all of our actors- Laura Montes, Laura Frye, Tristan Colton, Michael Pauley, Nina Ashe, Lamar Lewis, Steve Watts, Celeste Moratti, Joe Discher, Nannette Deasy, Kevin Gilligan, Loren Dunn, Andrew Kimler, Robert Baumgardner…. thank you for your hearts, for your souls, for your gifts of talent-
To Danillo- Thank you Thank you Thank you for joining our company when we arrived in Rome and for lighting our way- I wish I knew more Italian so I could have spoken with you more. You are simply amazing!
To Roberto and Leslie- Thank you for opening your home and your hearts to us in Forte dei Marmi- Thank you for welcoming us into your home and onto your beach– Thank you for doing so much to help and support our efforts this year- You were our productions guardian angels that we never even knew that we were going to have–
To the Moratti Family- Millie, Massimo, Carlotta, Mao, Maria, Gigio- Thank you so much for your hospitality- for welcoming us into your homes and your hearts for these weeks and for showing us all the beauty of Italy-
Fanni, Jean Carlo, Angela, Enzo, Luca- thank you so much for all that you did to help support us- driving us, cooking us meals- you are all too amazing for words
Thank you to Dario and Allessandro for hosting us in Rome and giving us the opportunity to perform in your beautiful space-
Thank you to Andrea and Frederico for hosting us in Milan- Teatro Franco Parenti is too beautiful for words-
Thank you to our audiences for coming and sharing in this experience- from Queens to an olive grove in Forte, to Rome and Milan- thank you for being the vital part of this experience without which we would not exist.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog…
Dal mio cuore, addio fino ala prossima volta
(from my heart, farewell till next time)