Monday, October 23, 2006

Chance encounters

I'm constantly reminded what a small town Richmond is. Like tonight, if you attended the first debate on the Marshall/Newman Amendment at U of R, you would have been able to chat with Jeff Shapiro, political columnist with the Times-Dispatch, whose lovely wife used to work for Theatre IV. You also might have had a chance to rub shoulders with former Vice Presidential candidate, Senator John Edwards. (At least that's what I thought at first. Actually, it was state senator John Edwards at the debate. Oops, my bad!)

Also, a few days after I posted something here about the possibility of running into someone at Ukrop's who I had written a bad review about, I happened to meet Jennie Brown from SPARC at the Carytown Ukrop's. Earlier this fall, I saw Cynde Liffick from Richmond Shakespeare jogging along Monument Avenue, probably only a week or so after seeing Thomas Nowlin (who was RS's "Othello") in the VCU Ukrop's. Last winter, I was pleasantly surprised bumping into Jill Bari Steinberg walking along in Carytown and one day last spring Grant Mudge was walking into Crossroads Coffee when I was walking out. A couple of summers ago, as my kids romped around the playground near the Carillon, I noticed Chris Evans and his lovely wife walking along in the park as well with their little one who I think was only 2 or 3 at the time.

But possibly the most interesting unexpected encounter I had was when I was visiting the offices of Media General probably 5-6 years ago. I was working for a consultant and had come to work on their computer system and walking toward the person's office I was supposed to meet, I happened to pass d.l.hopkins's office. I don't think I knew he was a computer geek like me until then.

Maybe some people feel claustrophobic in a town like this, where everybody seems to know everybody else. Personally, I think it's one of the many charms of Richmond, and one of the many reasons we have never been get ourselves to move away, though we've often thought of doing so.

Speaking of interesting encounters, if you are a big Garrison Keillor fan, he's going to be at the Barter Theater way down in Abingdon, VA, on Nov. 1. A drive down there might be a nice excuse to check out the tail-end of the changing leaves.

I've been enjoying the small bit of discussion that my "People Hate Critics" post seemed to generate; thank you all for your perspectives. I'll have to think up some additional juicy topics that might get some responses. Anyone else have any ideas?

1 comment:

Jacquie O. said...

You bring up a subject that I have found myself defending quite a bit over the years..."Why Richmond VA for theatre?” This especially confuses my parents, since I grew up in NY where all "good theatre" is (according to them). For me Richmond was a place that sort of snuck up on me. I never made a conscious decision to live here. After touring with Theatre IV for a number of years I found myself falling in love with the old fashion charm of the city (which can also be a source of GREAT frustration at times.) I was amazed at the amount of theatre being produced in a city so small in size. I was also impressed with the quality of the work and the HUGE hearts of the folks who ran these theatres. Richmond and the theatre community seemed like a family. I also knew I wanted to teach theatre to children…and S.P.A.R.C. under the leadership or Jeri and Jennie was (and continues to be) such a wonderful asset to this city and its talented young people. I have been in Richmond about 17 years now…which, now that I think about it IS the age I was when I left NY…so I feel like this is my home. I have watched my friends flourish over the years in this theatre community; we work, we direct, we produce, we teach, we start our own theatre companies, we raise children, we purchase homes, we celebrate each other, AND in times of crisis we are 100% there for each other! Sure, there are frustrations because we all know each other (maybe a little too well). But give me this over a big cold city (where I would still be a waitress) any time!