As summer’s long days draw to a close, the ensemble of dog & pony dc reflects on time well spent in both work and play. In addition to working hard on devising and performing, we managed to escape the grind and enjoy our family and friends. We’re happy to share those experiences with you.
Rachel Grossman: I’d expected to remain in DC this summer after being away with Beertown Takes America productions most of the 2015-16 theatre season. Think again! In July I traveled to Scotland to present at the Arts Marketing Association UK’s annual conference. While I talked audience engagement approaches with arts administrators for two days, Colin took in the sites of Edinburgh. Then we drove to the highlands and hiked (mostly through rain) for a few days–and I recreated a photo from our trip to “The Three Sisters of Glencoe” taken twelve years prior.
Tyrone Giordano: I celebrated my baby’s first birthday in June. July was a whirlwind, likely aided by all the lit fireworks strapped to me. In August, my wife, Tia, and I spent a four-year-deferred honeymoon in France. C’est bon!
And we’ve returned hitting the ground running after our baby! He’s fast!
Colin K. Bills: ONE of my summer highlights was an incredible hike to Melakwa Lake in the Snoqualmie Region NE or Seattle. Rachel and I drove out from Seattle with John Vreeke and his husband Rick Lambert (and their dog Sammy) for the hike. John is a longtime collaborator with me, fellow Company Member at Woolly. It was the first time we had really gotten to have a non-work interaction in our 10+ year relationship. On the incredibly beautiful hike, we discussed theater, the Seahawks, the Packers, REI, Hillary Clinton, and the stupendous views before us. It was a great and exhausting day.
Rachel and I swam in an alpine lake that, three weeks earlier, had still been partially iced over. It was f’in cold.
The HUGE takeaway from this is that it is wonderful to connect to our professional collaborators on a deeply personal level. I think this will make my professional relationship with John all the more profound.
Kerry McGee: I directed CHALK for We Happy Few Productions. The production was an original adaptation that I spearheaded.
CHALK focused on themes of motherhood, revolution, and finding our way amidst the chaos.
Elaine Qualter: It hardly seems possible that summer is coming to an end; it’s been a pretty outstanding one for our little family of six. We had some great travel experiences, like spending two weeks hiking and playing in Utah, eating red hot dogs in Maine, and swimming/knitting on the beach New England. And we enjoyed plenty of tried and true activities closer to home, like summer camps, visiting museums, attending concerts and theater, and cooling down at splash parks. Though we’ve had oodles of fun, we’re ready for autumn’s cooler (i.e. knitting!) weather, football season, and getting back into a regular rhythm.
Wyckham Avery: I had an amazing summer at Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton, NH. I directed the premiere of Samantha Rai and the Shogun of Fear by Qui Nguyen and Shane Rettig.
Tiasha Bera: For the first time, my family was able to take a much needed vacation trip, where all of us were able to bond and learn new things about each other. The destination for this summer was British Columbia/Alaska! Alaska was a superb trip, absolutely breathtaking views, and we also got to meet locals and learn about how Alaskans live their lives!
Here’s a selfie from BC at Emerald Lake! Gorgeous place!
Lorraine Ressegger-Slone: We’re spending the last week of summer at Virginia Beach on the north end of the boardwalk. The girls are beyond excited and keep making lists of all they want to do, which includes: burying Daddy in the sand, riding bikes to get ice cream, seashell collecting, and watching the sun rise (John and I aren’t so much looking forward to that one). We are very much looking forward to vacation though… it’s been a long summer. We are starting to get our first taste of what it’s like to run kids from activity to activity. The girls had their ballet recital at the beginning of summer, and Lacey joined the swim team (we spent a TON of time at the pool), took piano lessons, and joined a reading class (she has zero interest in reading, she just liked the stories in class). We also planted a huge garden and the girls enjoyed all aspects of it, from digging for worms and planting the seeds, to harvesting the produce and making food. We raised some butterflies and watched them move around the flower and vegetable gardens. And there have been tons of backyard adventures.
Jenn Larsen: I was enormously lucky to enjoy an abundance of love, laughter, and friendship this summer. I won’t soon forget reading the first half of the Penelope chapter in James Joyce’s Ulysses as part of Petworth Citizen’s Bloomsday marathon reading. Giving voice to the bawdy yet poignant thoughts of Molly Bloom was life-affirming. I also visited Minneapolis for the first time and fell in love with the city’s vibe and architecture, especially on a pilgrimage to the Guthrie Theatre, with its seemingly impossible cantilevered “endless bridge” designed by Jean Nouvel. And on my annual visit to a friend’s cherry orchard in upper Northwest Michigan, I took long walks through the forest and worked on the more difficult passages of my book on trauma.
Writing under the trees soothed those memories and helped bring peace.