September Wrap

September is over, our fourth official month of Big Blue Door. We had a great time and the organization continued to grow.

Jen and I started the month as guests of Rick Moore on WNRN, talking about storytelling and Big Blue Door. With us were Browning Porter and Miller Murray Susen who told wonderful stories.

Speaking of wonderful stories we had our third Big Blue Door Jam at Sweet Haus with standing room only, scrumptious cupcakes, great true stories and storytellers, audience-volunteer judges, and the introduction of random order–each storyteller drew the name of the storyteller who followed.

The first Improv Character & Scene class offered this fall at Live Arts filled up, so the incomparable Live Arts Education Director Bree Luck and the fine folks at Live Arts added a second class to the schedule! Both classes will have their showcases together at Live Arts on October 30th. We intended to offer a Telling True Stories class at The Bridge but due to renovations the class fell through. Then the Park School offered their space and we were able to start a class on the 30th. It’s a wonderful space that we’re ecstatic to be using. The class show will be in November.
Speaking of The Bridge, we’re so excited to announce three projects in collaboration with The Bridge in October. First, the October Big Blue Door Jam will be there and for several months following. With the baby and just having moved, it’s such a relief for Jen and I not to have to scout for locations each month.

Second, for the wonderful Hamner Theater Jen is producing a new play at The Bridge called Stanley Ann. It’s a fantastic one-person 70-minute show about Barack Obama’s mother. In addition to impulsively marrying a Kenyan student when she was in college (Obama’s father), she then married an Indonesian student, moved to Indonesia to become a housewife, and later became an anthropologist and one of the originators of micro-finance. It’s a cool story. The play is being performed by the talented Kate Adamson and directed by our pal Boomie Pedersen.

Finally, I’m now on the Theater Crew at The Bridge. It should be a great chance to continue the exciting work Ali Cheff has done building a theater program with national contacts while drawing on my New York friends to bring some improv and sketch comedy to Charlottesville.

Our Facebook presence is still pretty feeble, but this website is working well. We had over 2000 hits, 400 more than August. There are sections of it that need to be updated and we haven’t had time to work on links and polls, but we’ve enjoyed the front page posting.

We have a lot of work to do and a lot we’re trying build. Jen and I have been at times overwhelmed holding it all together, and in some ways we’re behind in what we set out to do, like explaining what we’re trying to build, fundraising, getting several months ahead in event planning, and building a volunteer base. Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of help from the community.

Thanks especially to the Hamner Theater, The Bridge, Live Arts, Tara & Sweet Haus, Jay & Phyllis of the Park School, Peter Jones & WTJU, Rick Moore & WNRN, Susan Manning Parmar, Meghan Eckman, Jamie Dyer, and Kortney Jeffreys. Thanks as well to everyone for performing, working the door, taking classes, coming to shows, reading what we’re up to, or just clicking on a photo or link!

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