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From Emma – Regarding Juggling

March 29, 2012

Two weeks until we open A Resting Place. We’re setting as much as possible, but given the scale of the show, given the explorative nature of rehearsals, given the size and difficult-to-transport-ness of the set, we can’t lock things down just yet. We solidify some points, and we stay flexible on others, knowing that they will keep shifting. We improvise. We catch what is thrown our way. We juggle.

“In a play about a circus, some juggling is to be expected.”

— Christopher Shorr, director of A Resting Place

© h scott heist /

Rehearsals are in the evening. Before that is a full day. Meetings, press releases, poster designs, transcribing, note-taking, note-puzzling-over, education work, endless emails, lesson-planning, rehearsal-planning, craving coffee. We always talk about the many varied hats we wear, as company members at Touchstone Theatre.

“The world cannot be governed without juggling.”

— John Selden, English politician and philosopher

© h scott heist /

It’s not always pretty or comfortable, but it’s work that needs doing, and work we do gladly. We don’t cram our schedules full for the sake of glory or pride or a few extra bucks. We don’t juggle just because it’s something to do. We do it because creating art, large-scale art, art for and with the community, is a beautiful thing, something to aspire to, and something that the world would be poorer without.

“The important point is the toss, not the catch.

“Speaking metaphorically (I love metaphors), juggling is like life, in that success depends on the quality of what you throw into it rather than grabbing what you think you can get away with.

“See? I bet you didn’t know juggling was such a metaphysical activity.”

— Victor M. Chong, my dad

If we make our community think and feel and rejoice in hearing their thoughts in our art, then the long hours of juggling are worth it. Things are sometimes dropped, and they aren’t always thrown straight, and our arms are weary from the work, but with Touchstone’s history and legacy of community-based theatre, we know that our art will fly, defy gravity, and inspire as it dances through the air.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2012 4:55 pm

    World Up!

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