Ode to My Facebook Family, and Connie Hanna

4/18/15

Some thoughts for this beautiful Saturday morning. I am grateful for this community ratchere. I have gone back and forth on the love/hate with Facebook, but right now, I am so grateful for it. In this past week or so, I have been able to follow the happy upswing progress of a friend’s wife’s sudden and unexplained onset of toxic shock which landed her in the ER and actually on a death bed watch. She has rallied. My friend noted how important the prayers and support he received from FB friends were, and how they helped him keep his spirits up.

I posted the other day about my friend Connie Hanna who took her life. She is physically gone, but I have been reading our messages to each other, her face is here smiling in my friends list as if she is still here. This has been a hard one to cope with folks, because if you had asked me, “who in your life is the wisest, most enlightened, armed-with-tools-for-life-person you know?”, I would have said Connie. And we were on the brink of a closer level in our friendship. The words and symbols from you all have helped me with a grief I actually feel guilty having–it seems too selfish. I don’t understand, but I’m trying.

Processing. I have friends who tell me, “I never post, I’m a FB voyeur. I’m not comfortable sharing in that way.” I get that, and respect it. I know you’re there. There is something about being an artist, I think, that putting bits of our souls outward– is part of that art process. Because this is our raw material. And we depend on feedback. At least most of the artists I know do, no matter what their medium. And so FB has become another creative medium for some. I think definitely for me.

Connie Hanna. was so many things, but she was an artist. Here is some of her work:

https://www.facebook.com/conniehannajewels?rf=1462569354237connieJewelry45

Connie processed her life through her posts on Facebook. It was those posts that had me reconnecting with her. I observed how, about 9 months ago—feeling her life needed a change, and after some deep meditation, she delved into a new chapter of her life by putting herself into the training program of Carmax to sell cars. She wrote on her LinkedIn account, “I love my new job! Never be afraid to try something you never dreamed you’d do!”  Within 8 months she became one of the top salespeople. Her posts about the people she met, the stories, the hugs, were inspiring to me. It was like a ministry for her. By the way, Connie was an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church and a certified yoga instructor.

As someone who had spent the past undisclosed years applying for “the job”, having offers that didn’t cut it salary or geographically wise, feeling unvalued in the job market, wondering what the next step was, empty nest, etc. . . I found her ability to fling herself into something new refreshing. More than that, it was her ability to defy other people’s expectation of what she should be and do that inspired me to swallow my pride and take a job—any job in order to have a schedule, get out of the house, and contribute in some small way to the family coffers. I waited tables for the first time in 20 some years. I’m babysitting. I’m catering. If she can sell cars, ad bring her love, light, and laughter into that arena—I can do that too. And so we started chatting on Facebook.

I had not seen Connie since 2002, when I moved from Norfolk. As we were heading out of town, I picked up a pair of earrings I had commissioned her to make. Dragonflies with orange beads. Her son Jesse had been in Kindergarten with Willa. I had gone to her jewelry shows. We saw each other occasionally at church. I was always a little intimidated by her, as I am by most women who seem to “have it all together”. Maybe I felt I didn’t have anything to offer her in the friend department because I sensed she had it all. But our posts on Facebook drew us together as we recognized that our souls and spirits were in the same place. This really happened when she was fired from Carmax a little over a month ago. Her posts depicted loss and devastation, and extreme grief over suddenly feeling that her gifts were no longer wanted. I keenly related to this, and reached out. Evidently she had “not followed process”. We started intense messaging. Not all the time. Not constant, but impactful.

On April 9, during one of our conversations in which she sent me a jpeg for a meditation class she was going to be leading and asked for my opinion—she asked, “Want to come to our place in Duck for a weekend?” I was overjoyed, and responded, “Yes!” It was to be a mini-retreat of sorts. I was so happy that we were going to have the opportunity to move our new relationship from a virtual level to an “In the same time and place” real one. I ended that conversation asking her a question about another  image she had sent me suggesting I try a particular meditation focus. It was never answered. On April 11, it’s quite obvious that was the last time she posted, or liked anything I had posted, at least. The morning of April 16th, I messaged her, asking, “Hey Meditation Lady, I’m struggling with limbo waiting to hear about jobs. Any suggestions?” I discovered that night, through Facebook, that she had taken her life, in the Duck house, on April 14th.

She had plans. She had a loving husband. She had a 21 year old son that appeared to be her joy. She had a new business plan and focus; to be a meditation leader. She had pets. As evidenced by the mourning, tributes, and clear love and shock on her Facebook page, she had love and admiration and support in the hundreds if not thousands. One friend wrote on my page, “Norfolk is small and everyone is sad.” All I can surmise is that Connie was a more sensitive artist than we knew, and that she suffered a deep, deep depression. Maybe a downward swing from bi-polar syndrome that swung so low she could not summon the physics to come back up.

She stopped talking to us all on Facebook on April 11. Was she listening? Was she reading? I wish she hadn’t stopped talking. Because so many would have been there. A take away for me is when someone chatty grows silent, take action.

Also, artists need to reign in and redefine their perception of what success is. I am trying to do this for myself. Yesterday while walking my dog, I thought, “I am a success when I get out of bed. I’m a success when I put one foot in front of the other. When I prevail. When I show up. When I love and when I accept love. Because of my children, my marriage. My creative endeavors. I’m a success because I’m alive. Because I’m still here today. Because I can make myself smile even when I’m sad. Because I can be kind when I hurt. What I think anyone else thinks, is immaterial. It doesn’t matter. I can do this because I can. I think if I’d asked, Connie would have told me this.  I believe that Connie was unable to tell herself these things due to some kind of chemical imbalance. I know she had the wisdom. For some reason, it was inaccessible to her.

I don’t know how she died.  I hope she was in no pain. I hope, hope, hope and pray she was at peace. But how could that be? And that thought, no matter what method was used—feels violent. There is no peace or closure. Again, just writing that makes me feel guilt because I think of her husband, son, family, friends, that saw her on a daily, weekly basis, those closer to her than me. What right have I to feel this loss? It’s selfish. I am disappointed I missed out on knowing her better, being closer to her. I have missed out on having her in my life to continue to wrestle with these life issues.

Her death shows me that the wrestling of these issues is important to share. So here I am. Because I need to feel that I’m not alone in this soup. Thank you for wrestling with me, or, if it is more comfortable to watch, I’m okay with that. I will wrestle for you. Thank you, Facebook family.

6th Time IS a Charm

TVM_1 VM 2014 lucy,Shelly,silkia,Sj baptized bows2One would think that by the 6th time you’ve directed  a show, you are DONE with it. That’s what I thought the 4th and 5th time I directed Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues for Radford University. That was not the case with this year’s production. Maybe because this year’s script contains 3 new pieces, which makes it a different challenge and more meaningful? Maybe it’s this year’s cast? Or maybe it’s just taken me this long to fully understand the depth of how  The Vagina Monologues has potential to change one’s course and impact lives in a positive way.

Maybe it’s because a few months ago a former cast member (or “Vagina” as I am want to call my cast members), Dr. Liz Altieri told me the following story. She had been to a local elementary school to observe a student teacher and as she was leaving a school secretary, a women in her middle ages said, “Excuse me!”

Liz turned and said, “Yes?”

The woman whispered, “Were you in The Vagina Monologues at Radford University?”IMG_281653248016196

“Indeed I was”, replied Liz.

The woman then proceeded to tell Liz the profound impact the show had on her, how she had brought friends to see it, how she went to see it more than once. Liz was moved as she was telling me this story—and truly, it was this event that opened my eyes ever more to see the power of this special piece. I’ve heard from other professors at RU, “Why do they keep doing the same thing?!” I’ll tell you why:

The show is always different because there is always at least one new piece and new cast.

Because every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted *.

Because 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime **.

Because perpetrators of sexual violence largely go unscathed or held responsible or  punished while their victims’ lives are turned upside down often for a lifetime.

Because those pushed to the margins of society due to race, culture, sexual or gender orientation are maligned, unheard, disregarded, beaten, and made to feel like pariahs of society.20150324_214458

Because I want my daughter to never feel she has to apologize for saying “NO”, or feel like a second class citizen.

Because I want my son to be a vagina friendly male, and to understand that “male privilege” is a cultural norm, and not the way it has to be or should be. And since he has been helping with the show since he was 12, I can safely assert he is a vagina friendly male, and an advocate for not only women’s rights, for the rights of all who are pushed to the margins.

Because I want to open the eyes of teenage girls and boys to the fact that they can make a difference by being the difference.

I’ve seen audience members moved and cast members lives’ changed. I’m so proud to have been a part of the legacy of V-Day. I am thankful to Dr. Michele Ren and Dr. Moira Baker for trusting me with this piece year after year, for supporting it, for going through the pain of dealing with the academic red tape of scheduling, promotion, advocacy of a good cause. You would think that wouldn’t be an issue. I am thankful to my minister and church, Rev. David Rose and Grace Episcopal in Radford, VA for providing us with rehearsal space. Grateful to Brenna Bowyer, a wonderful past Vagina and current Stage Manager who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.  And finally, to all the current and past Vaginas from all the VDay at RU productions; you have graced and enhanced my life in so many ways. You are lovely, you are brave, you are fierce. I love you all so much.

~Lucinda

[photos from various productions of The Vagina Monologues  at Radford University]

* Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network , www.rainn.org

**George Mason University, Worldwide Sexual Assault Statistics, 2005

Delightful Rabbit Holes

It’s always a special treat when threads of connection form between my various interests and projects.

I am currently under a commission by Washington & Lee University to write a musical play about their alum Larry Wynn ’34, who had been a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and singer, who later became a sales phenom for ABC Radio, only to be guided back into songwriting when Cameron MacIntosh took a song he wrote lyrics for—Five Guys Named Moe (first recorded in 1941), a revue of  Louis Jordan music, and made it into one of the first juke-box musicals. The production team assumed Larry was dead—but when Larry saw an audition notice in the paper for the London production moving to Broadway—he called them.FiveGuysNamedMoe Anyway, the research has been fascinating and has lead me down many seemingly random paths, the majority of which have reaped gold.

One such rabbit hole was the discovery of a black songwriter named Andy Razaf, a contemporary of Larry’s. How did that come about?

Larry, a white, Jewish, Brooklyn born fella sent to the south to college—evidently was comfortable flirting with margins. He was one of the minority of white musicians who was welcomed into Harlem, and worked with black musicians—a choice that later forced him out of the business because he wouldn’t forsake his black peers when the pressure of segregation reared its ugly head. I’ve discovered that there was a black Tin Pan Alley, pretty much run by Clarence Williams (the IIIrd’s grandfather of Mod Squad fame) and W. C. Handy. Their offices were over the Gaiety Theatre because the white proprietors of the Tin Pan Alley offices in the Brill Building discriminated against them (although it remains to be seen if there were alley deals on copyrights—black writers writing for whites–and I don’t doubt there were) . In his memoirs, Larry credits Clarence with taking him to the Silver Dollar Grill up in Harlem, where he met the Palmer Brothers who became his back-up singers. So, in digging up about Clarence Williams, I found this interesting info.

The Palmer Brothers.
The Palmer Brothers.

Then, I was searching for the writer(s) to the fabulous tune Larry had performed (heard it on an air check he had a recording of from the Avalon Hour) with the Palmer Brothers called Shoutin’ In That Amen Corner.  I was hoping Larry had written the tune, but I found out that this dude named Andy Razaf, with Danny Smalls had. So I started down the rabbit hole after Andy Razaf and WHAT an interesting story his life is! But what was really great, was that research of Andy circled around to Black Tin Pan Alley, and the offices over the Gaiety. Andy Razaf would pick up his mail from there, my early internet research revealed. This was a quote repeated in almost every hit about Razaf, and credited to a book by Barry Singer, Black and Blue. In an effort to richen my understanding of this era, the relationship between black and white musicians during this time, the racial climate in Harlem and in midtown, I ordered the book through my favorite used and out of print resource, Abebooks.com. Internet research gave a cursory overview of Razaf’s musical progeny; Lyrics for Honeysuckle Rose, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Black and Blue, (with Fats Waller’s compositions), In the Mood (Music by Joseph Garland) , The Joint is Jumpin’ (with J.C. Johnson, music by Waller) , That’s What I Like About the South (words and music). How could this prolific, important lyric writer be so unknown?!

andy_razaf
Andy Razaf

 The book was waiting for me yesterday when I returned home from Floydfest. I started reading it and two points of intersection emerged; first was Libby Holman, a torch singer I had stumbled on back in the ‘80’s and always thought would make a good subject for a show—she was a good pal of Cole Porter’s, and ended up marrying Smith Reynolds, tobacco magnet and implicated in his mysterious death. . . ooooooooooooo. . . but a friend borrowed that book and I never got it back. Okay—but THEN I found out he had written My Handy Man, perfectly and incomparably recorded and interpreted by Ethel Waters, a song I’ve been working on to include in Ball & Chain’s repertoire. Damn! I get a little tingly in the head and get gooseys on my arms when this happens. . . .

I love research. You never know where it’s going to take you, and it seems to be my destiny to help shine a light on these beautiful past lives that impact our current lives with art, music, soul. And that’s ok. I’m anticipating the interweaving of Andy and Larry, and how my magic wand of fiction and drama may make them dance.

I’m grateful for this journey I’m on, and where it’s taking me. Stay tuned.

On the way to ArtsMarket 2013!

Here we go to our first presenter’s conference in Durham, NC! Arts Market 2013 . Very excited, and hoping to get lots and lots of bookings. Getting the press kits and other marketing tools together. I will present 15 minutes of O’Keeffe! with a total of 5 minutes to get the set off and on. Yeah. . . . thankfully I will have my loving and capable niece, Veda Renfrow, sound and light tech to assist. My bro-in-law Bryan Jones, videographer, has put together a fantastic promo for me. I am still thankful to my website creator/manager/guru Rick Dickenson. My hubby Jon Piro helps more and deals with more crap from me than I can ever say.  . . my dear friend Tom Nevels is putting me up. . . I’m so blessed to have all of this support. It truly take a village!

Okeeffe_artsmarket_slide

On Being An Artist Today

There are a few of us, still trying to hang on, fingers gripped on a rickety gutter pulling away from a multi-story neglected house. Clinging not because of a dream, or some need for attention, but because of a true, gut centered calling. A nagging, divinely sent provocation that art is necessary despite what the world tells us. We put up with condescension from those less trained and younger than us, we deal with disregard, we pay dues long after we should have been allowed in the club, we work for less than our training, certifications, degrees should demand.

We do it not for glory, fame, or recognition even.

We do it because if we don’t, then it’s one less voice heard, one less line written.

One less viewpoint illustrated, danced, or sculpted.

We artists are a tribe that is under the threat of extinction.

We are misunderstood, not valued, often maligned.

Nonetheless, we are a scrappy, tough lot, and by virtue of what we have to face, possess admirable survival skills.

But we are tired, and vulnerable, and because of the sensitivity necessary to make art—worn down, and could use some allies.

We are susceptible to many threats; economic, health care availability/affordability,

a lack of creative home/incubators. . .

but nothing is more threatening than the devaluing of art in our society.

What does it look like? It looks like the first thing to be cut from a school budget. It looks and sounds like background music. It sounds like “Ok, I’ll play for free”. It looks like the illegal copying of books, plays, poems, art.

It’s the illegal recording of music, plays, film.

It’s not being paid because your service is perceived as a hobby, not a vocation.

And it’s the artist who agrees to work for free or for less than they are worth,  thus joining in a perpetual cycle of devaluation.

Imagine a world without art. Blank walls. Empty books. Silent cafes. Nothing coming from a radio, ipod or tv but a droning voice with news or InfoTainment. No theatre. No school plays. No marching bands. No different drum beat to march to. No macaroni art or baby plaster hand. No Ode for Joy. No dancing. No poetry. No sculpture. No graffiti. No metaphor.

We are on the verge.

We don’t encourage our children to go into the arts. Why should we encourage economic ruin? I hear it all the time….

“Will my child make a living? “

Not

“Will my child be happy and fulfill their calling?”

The problem isn’t if your child will make a living. The problem is that this world, our society devalues art.

It’s not time for a renaissance. It’s time for a revolution.

What are you going to do about?

RUMPUS ROOM picked as finalist for Barter’s Appalachian Play Festival

“Development” is a word that playwrights both embrace and loathe.

Once I am past that delightful, solitary struggle to get the play onto paper, looking so neat and controlled, black against white, solid format—I realize that it’s not a play until it’s worn by bodies and the words are spoken aloud. That means involving others. Giving it to others. Giving it up. LOSING CONTROL. Actually, I’m okay with that. Some playwrights struggle, I think. Being an actor and director  I know the play can’t live without collaboration. It needs designers, costumes, lights, and a set. RUMPUS ROOM is ready for this next step. It needs bodies and voices.

I am lucky to get this illusive next step which is a staged reading at Barter Theatre as a finalist in the Barter’s Appalachian Play Festival, July 5, 2013, at 1pm. Nick Piper is directing, and I hope to meet the cast later this month and have a chance to converse with them. If I’m lucky, the play will be produced. Between the reading and the production however, I can bet that I will once again go back to the drawing board and tinker for yet another draft. Because that’s what playwright’s do. And then it will go into rehearsals, where most likely the director and I will wrestle and collaborate and fight and compromise and agree and disagree on changes. And that’s “development”. And after that first production, it might change again.

That’s if I’m lucky. However, the play could get stuck in the development rut of being tossed around from theatre to theatre from reading to reading. Or I could self produce. We shall see.

The good news is that I really, really like this play. I can not wait to see it, to hear it. That alone is pretty cool, I think.

Stay tuned.

RUMPUS ROOM had its first reading at Washington & Lee University, Feb. , 2011 as part of the Flournoy Playwright Festival

It is the grateful recipient of the 2011 Martha Hill Newell Playwright’s Fund

Synopsis for RUMPUS ROOM

Audrey, a mother and lapsed poet in her mid 40’s,  wants nothing more than to be Super Mom, Super Woman, Super Daughter and the Next Great American Poet, but raising children, her husband who is deep in the throws of mid-life crisis—and her aging mother is in the way. When her mother Ruth Ann has to move in with the family, the precarious balance tips further. Her children Cora, 8, and Dallas, 14, act out in alarming fashion, Ruth Ann’s dementia has humorous yet dangerous consequences, husband Keith is developing a secret life while Audrey fights to keep her and everyone else’s head above water. In the end, Audrey is no closer to “doing and having it all”, but instead discovers getting down and dirty with the rumpus beats being a passive by-stander.  RUMPUS ROOM shows the condition of the sandwich generation at its messiest, reminding us that if you resist change, you’re not living or embracing life to its fullest. A comic drama with elements of magic realism.AppFestLogo

The Vagina Monologues. Round 4

Current project:

Directing Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues for Women’s Studies at Radford University; show dates March 27 and 28 at 6pm, and March 30 at 2pm in the Hurlburt Auditorium (The Bonnie) at Radford University.

This is my 4th time working with a cast of vaginas that span generations, occupations, experience on stage, and are all fabulous. It’s always a creative challenge to make the production fresh, but when you have new folks to work with, the life experience and personalities they bring with them make it not as difficult as you think, and certainly not impossible.

You don’t have to go to the V-Day Organization’s website to sense the frustration of Ensler being 15 years down the road with this project and not much closer to ending rape.  However, she is not without hope for moving forward, or for appreciation of the many goals reached and victories won, sentiments she expresses in a video for this year’s organizers and activists.  She has labelled this year’s efforts One Billion Rising. Every year Eve adds a new spotlight monologue which is meant to indeed point a light on a particular area of concern. This year it is the statistic of one billion women having been raped IN THE WORLD. She has not only written a new piece, the show includes a 3 minute film titled One Billion Rising which is to be shown as part of the production and which is, I feel, an effective  punch in the gut of awareness. There is no sugary frosting on this message. Women are OVER IT. Which is another piece she has written that I have chosen to include.

I am grateful for the trust that Women’s Studies at RU has put in me to continue to work on this piece. I am grateful that over the years we have been able to raise approximately $3000 in donations to help with the good work that the Women’s Resource Center of Radford does.  I begin to ponder the ways in which this involvement has enhanced my life, made it richer, made me grow…. but I guess the most profound effect that comes to mind is that every year I have directed the show, my son and my daughter have seen it
since they were in puberty, and our conversations and awareness continue and grow as they have grown. I am grateful to see how my son is becoming a young man that is sensitive, caring, respectful, and admiring of women. I am delighted to see my daughter be someone who doesn’t take shit, is confident, not afraid to say no, and is discerning to say yes.

I am rising because we have come so far, and have still so far to go.

For tickets (free, but we recommend reservations.) Donations will be accepted at the door for The Women’s Resource Center of Radford

Poster Draft 5

 

The Worth of the Art$–a conversation to be continued

Because I’m an artist and now and then can make my life solely from the arts, I think about this topic a lot.

Because I’ve taught at universities and have had to hold the nervous hands of parents as they ask, “But can my child make a living?”

Because I’ve had students answer the question, “Why do you want to be a theatre major”, say, “I want to teach, because you know, I won’t be able to make a living out of it.”

Because that answer makes me very sad.

At these times my mind drifts to images of the Renaissance (which one? Doesn’t matter but best to start with the Italians and move toward England). I think of the work of literature, visual art, dance, opera, music, theatre, stage design alone…. all of the advances done during a time when the arts held an honored and respected place in society. No matter that for a while women weren’t allowed or encouraged in these areas at this time–let’s over look that for now.

There is no simple answer to this. So much to consider. The price of Broadway. A ticket to see “Book of Mormon” can cost up to $400 something. A young actor living in Jersey City who takes the PATH into Manhattan to pound the pavement for agents and auditions and temp or wait tables is not going to afford to keep up with what’s on Broadway. Who is the demographic for Broadway? Yes, sure, thank God for TKTS.

Still.

I have heard someone quibble over a $10 ticket to see a local production.

In London I paid 5 pounds to see Mark Rylance play Olivia in “Twelfth Night” at the Globe. I stood for nearly 3 hours as a groundling and would have gladly stood three more.

What is the worth of art? No, you can’t eat it. Well, some you can–okay. But I’m sure the question is asked, “what’s it worth when you need food, shelter, security, health care?”

I am by no means flush, and my ability to travel to England and Ireland this past year was a chain of serendipity that only comes along once in a lifetime–but in the past year I’ve witnessed:

Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met

The revival of “Evita” on Broadway with a bunch of incredible unknown actors

a writers circle in the East Village

The Gregory Brothers in concert

Bruce Springstein in concert (nothing less than a religious experience)

“Twelfth Night” and “Hamlet” at the Globe, London

“Sunshine Boys”, West End

“The House”, Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Several student productions at Radford University that were delightful, especially seeing the talented professor Jennifer Juul perform

My son perform in “Eric and Elliot’ with Roanoke Children’s Theatre

The Radford High School choir

An afternoon at the Albert and Victoria Museum, The National Gallery, the British Museum, The Tate in London

Seeing an original Stieglitz print of O’Keeffe at the V & A.

Floydfest–all of it.

Seeing the small but impressive and beautifully vulnerable exhibits of my friends Elois Philpot and Jennifer Hand.

I know I”m leaving some out but here’s my point:

I may not be able to plug any of these experiences into a socket and run it as long as it’s 3 year warranty would last like you would an appliance. None of these I wear. I don’t have anything I can hang on the wall.

But they have enriched this journey of my life. Some were shared experiences, once in a life time occurrences like seeing Hamlet with my son at the Globe, and both of us tearing up just because. Marveling at the silver settings in the V & A with my pal Michele Wagner. Hopping into the fountain at the V & A. Michele and I just pinching ourselves watching Mark Rylance. And seeing the Boss perform live for the first time with my man. My glee was unbounded. The magnitude of Springsteen’s showmanship and artistry is infinite live.

I will carry these experiences forever. Even if one day I lose my memory, they are embedded in my soul. They have become a part of me. I can revisit and relive the experiences whenever I like as long as I like. As long as I can.

And I think that makes art worth it.

Lucinda with Miss O’Keeffe, courtesy of Alfred Stieglitz and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Discoveries in the Land of O’Keeffe

I’ve noted this before, but everybtime I return to the script, I seem to find something new I’d never realized before. It’s like the 50 something actor discovers a new meaning the 28 year old playwright had no idea she had written.

I’m beginning to think that I wrote the play back then, for myself now. Which is weird, but cool thought. I like it, anyway.

Some new discoveries are movement based, more humor (thank God!), and quietness. Hands.

When I originally rehearsed the play years ago, I didn’t have a dog. Now we have sweet Decaf who has decided he does not like Miss O’Keeffe. Whenever I am rehearsing where he is, he looks at me and begins a low growl. It’s very funny.

Focusing lights at the Lyric for “O’Keeffe!”, Feb. 8 and 9.