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From the Archives – “Under Milkwood”

May 7, 2020

An early collaboration (May 1991) of Touchstone with the Pennsylvania Stage Company (Artistic Director Peter Wrenn-Meleck, now Production Manager at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and our recent production of Prometheus/Redux) and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (with Jerry Stropnicky directing, who later went on to write Prometheus/Redux for Festival UnBound). It was at this point I’d left Touchstone to explore the challenge of honestly representing the sacred on stage, and Bridget George was Touchstone’s Producing Artistic Director. Now, Bridget is a collaborator par excellence, and with these partnerships Touchstone’s creative powers were leveraged to greater accomplishment through sharing of resources and artistic vision. Not an easy thing to do, at least not for me, early in Touchstone’s career, but for Bridget, as a producer first and not an actual writer or theatre creator, she was as interested in the gifts of Jerry (BTE), Peter (PSC), AND Touchstone and how they might ALL be fulfilled.

Thirty years later– well, 29– we are still working together.

This production, too, in my mind, was magical (I have a tendency not to share those that were more problematic). Such love in the air, on stage, and Jerry’s direction was strong, sensitive, enlightened and felt safe to engage in the subtle ensemble work. This production features Eric Beatty, Susan Chase, Jason Hale, Jeanne Hansell, Jane Wellington, and myself.

Dylan Thomas was quite the lover, and it oh, so showed in the lyricism of this production.  Jane and Eric, not too long after married.

— Bill George

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