Penelope Freeh

Looking Back, Backstage

Posted by on Mar 19 2016, in Uncategorized

I am compiling 2015 receipts. Always a funny thing to look back upon my year, going through the calendar day-by-day and compiling mileage, parking expenses, jogging from memory the many deductibles I can legitimately claim as an independent artist.


Speaking of which, Four Saints opens tonight (and closes tomorrow). Impossible to fathom that so much work produces so little return, but I suppose it’s what we identify as “return” that counts. For instance, it’s been a great joy to be in the theater all week. As someone who is mostly used to the one-night-stand model in terms of performance, this has been a luxury to me. My favorite place of all time is backstage, and that itch has been scratched this week. There’s nothing like a deadline to congeal a pudding, and this one has come together quite nicely.


My duet with Carl Flink thrills me to no end. Last night the grips were perfect, and I am reminded how much I love partnering, being lifted, pouring my weight, falling with abandon and ultimately giving it up, succumbing. Ours is not a long dance, but it’s a bold statement, framed and tempered (and perhaps even upstaged) by an enormous lollipop that turns into a sun. From the ridiculous to the sublime, perfectly in keeping with Gertrude Stein’s language and Virgil Thompson’s music.


Back to taxes and my 2015 reality. It’s important to review in order to move forward. Back and forth, ebb and flow, like the tides with the moon pulling.