264.April 12

Brindisi, Italy

After a good sleep on the ferry, the next day passed slowly, but well. I read some in Heart of Darkness, and otherwise did nothing except plan out the rest of the trip. Oh, I made a wax sculpture out of a dab of red cheese covering wax. It was very small. For its size, it turned out very good. The day was spent in Brindisi, waiting for the 21:00 train. I read while they went shopping, and we went out for spaghetti at a Let's Go place. It wasn't very nice, but was filling. The door squeaked, and so did the only woman working there.

Then we went to the train station for more waiting. The night train to Rome held many adventures. The greatest were the thieves who took all of Becca's Italian money (200,000 Lire) and attempted Lars' wallet out of his back pocket. Lars woke up and hit the thirty-year-old man who tried to rob him. This happened in the cabin next to Becca and me, but we didn't know. I could not even remember the people opening our door throughout the night. Becca said I woke up, but I don't remember. It was very scary knowing what happened to Becca's possessions, because they took her bag to the WC, and there removed her Walkman and her Lire. They left all her credit cards, luckily, and her identification. She lost $120, but it did not hurt our trip too much.


Do you and your wife have any idea how much money it costs to put on a play? What we pay for rights? For just a play? A play takes up the time and complete imaginations of a large number of people. People have devoted a huge chunk of their lives to this play. So, my answer to you is, if theatre means so little to our society, then why has it lasted since before the Greeks? I've paid up to a hundred dollars for "Just a play". If we charged little or nothing, then who would pay the director, the piano player, etc. Theatre is a business, just as movies are, but it is local. Why wouldn't you support local people? Do people not give offerings to the Luren singers? Compared to the commitment a group of singers make, actors even at a community level should be giving so much more of their time. That's my answer to her. If people don't come because they can't pay, well, actually, it is new minowa players that set all the ticket prices last year. I defer to them. Do you want them to go under? Because they will, if we don't advertise like we have. It costs a lot of money. We will barely break even even if we fill all our seats. We intend get close to doing that, but we have no assurance. That is why we need to be completely ready by the first night to really impress everyone so they tell all their friends that it is worth $10 for the show. Also, we need to encourage people to eat there as well, so that the space wants us back. They are going to start charging a lot more for the space and for meals if we don't sell those dinner theatre seats. Long answer to a short question, but I've spent all my life up till now doing professional theatre, and to have people in small communities feel that there is no value in attending a theatrical production, both spiritually and mentally, is degrading and humiliating. Why would I waste my time on something that has no value? Am I insane? Ask you wife that? This and other humorous replies to this kind of question are always forthcoming close to a performance of this magnitude. Hope it wasn't too shocking. See you at the Tuesday rehearsal. Hope your lines and songs are down pat.


My parents and I are at Mayo Clinic today. My mother has been coming here for much of the past year, and today is surgery. We left her and went to breakfast when the nurses started her prep. I thought a hospital would be a good place for prune juice, but I guess it really isn't. Chris arrived, and we went to lunch after hearing everything was going well. We ate at a Greek and American restaurant a block away. I was remind by gyros of all those I had on my trip to Greece in '94. We went back and sat for a few more hours, then heard she was done with surgery, and we were moved to a new floor to wait for her. Jill arrived, and soon the doctor called and gave us all the news. We are pretty happy from what we've heard, and will see her in an hour.

We saw her, and were very much relieved, but she was still in a lot of pain. She needed more sleep. I drove my father's car home and went right to the YOOH board meeting, which was quite fulfilling in its own way. I slept very soon after getting home, after Rachel filled me in on the day's events.