I’ve never been to Arizona before. I can’t wait to get there. With each new city we visit I start looking for interesting and exciting daytime activities a few weeks in advance. There is so much to look forward to: We’ll be playing the historic ASU Gammage – a grand challenge and an honor. We will be in the state of the Grand Canyon, Red Rocks and everything Arizona has to offer naturally – adventures and cacti abound. I’ve already gathered restaurant recommendations (My Florist in particular.) Lord knows I can’t wait to be in the sun for a few days in a row.
Tempe is especially exciting for this reason: Campus in Springtime. There’s something about being on a university campus in the spring that inspires a refreshing drive to learn something new, go outside and read in a park or have a lively discussion about the intersections of art and politics.
I love and have always loved school – and as much as I adore my chosen career and life beyond college, nothing turns on the faucet of nostalgia like dorms, ultimate Frisbee and part-time employment at the nearest coffee shop. The most lasting and important friendships of my life (with exceptions of course) were forged in college(s)…It took a while to figure out in what field and where I would graduate. My list of positive associations with college and graduate school is long, and it was my time at Carroll College and ACT that lead me to a career in acting.
Some of the riskiest and most thrilling theater comes to life on university stages. Plays are approached with limited budgets and unlimited creativity. Students come to shows, as actors and audience members, full of enthusiasm and with a palpable willingness to engage with what is happening on stage. The spirit of our show The 39 Steps is alive with that same energy. It is a joy to perform and I love seeing people laugh out loud each night no matter what city we are playing. On a related note, I saw that Nilaja Sun’s No Child is playing in Phoenix – if you have a chance to see this show SEE IT. I saw her perform at the Barrow Street Theater in New York, and the woman is brilliant. See? Another great thing happening while I’m in town. There’s so much to do.
I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to explore Tempe and Phoenix as much as it is due. We are only in town for a week, but if I spend a good chunk of my time under a tree on a groomed ASU lawn, you’ll know I’m truly happy.