I have long noticed that the scene in a film script that seemed the most daunting upon first readings would invariably end up being my best scene. This happened repeatedly over the years.
This afternoon during the matinee, I realized that the same has happened with this play. There are two scenes that I have felt awkward about from the beginning that are becoming my favorites. What’s that about? Maybe it’s that these are scenes that made less sense until I sank deeper into the character and got braver with the illness she suffers from.
Elizabeth Lesser and four of her friends came back to say hello after the play. Elizabeth is a founder and director of the Omega Institute in Rochester, NY., a center for human growth and spiritual practice. For a number of years running, Elizabeth and Eve Ensler have jointly organized a 3-day “Women and Power” conference at the Institute. I have spoken there on a number of occasions and performed with Kerry Washington in Eve’s play, “Necessary Targets.” I have wanted Elizabeth to see “33 Variations” because I was sure she would respond to the play’s many levels of intelligence and spirit. I was right. She did and so did her friends. Elizabeth’s book, “Broken Open,” is one I have sent to many people who are confronting tragedy and crisis. It shows how the other side of tragedy is opportunity to grow and deepen—if one allows it to be and remains open to the signals when they appear. Elizabeth is a person of great depth and kindness. When Oprah did her intense, interactive radio show about Eckhart Tolle’s “The New Earth,” she asked Elizabeth to develop the curriculum for it. Now she has asked her to do interviews for her new radio show about Spirituality. Elizabeth has invited me to be her interviewee on the show in a few weeks.
Chef Scott Peacock whom I wrote about in an earlier blog, saw the show for a second time this afternoon (and will come again on opening night!). He said he saw new things in the play and was moved in different places.
Maybe I’ll remember to take some pictures. I’ve missed so many opportunities these last weeks to memorialize my friends backstage on my blog.
Hi to dear Karen out there in Boseman, Montana—my friend for decades who just emailed me that she reads this blog daily.
See you next time.