Sunday, December 31, 2017

the Performing Arts Center comes

a vehicle for the many to become one

across the creek,
light expectantly spills out of the 8 vertical windows
of the shell of the new C.F.S. Performing Arts Building,
construction slowly transforms concrete slab and block
toward the intimate, comfortable structure of the auditorium, 
within which the art of our dance and drama
can create an extended wholeness of experience
that feels alive to me,
George Fox could see that of God in everyone
and, in performance, 
I see it join with that same essence within others,
and a light kindles and flares,
the light within the shells of those windows,
like the coals of a fire,
ready to flare when new wood
 releases itself into a blaze,

within our current performing space, the Center Building,
our alums maintain a tradition of coming together
as Winter Solstice and Christmas reach toward the New Year,
they use their talents to create a performance:
today it is a take on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,”
a reimagining of the story,
starting with poverty as the reality of Charlie and his family,
at least in terms of food and money,
with poverty the reality of Willy Wonka’s soul,
a man obsessed with his own importance
and with how the kids on the tour are, to him,
existing only in how he can use their ideas to make money,
despite who might need to be sacrificed, forgotten,

in this version of the story,
Charlie’s father and a former coworker
commingle their ideas and create products
that work and make money for them,
the collective working better than the individualistic,

I enjoyed the use of dance as transformative,
a vehicle for two, for three, to become one,
the actors impressive in their virtuosity, 

two weeks ago a bridge already spanned the creek
between the new Performing Arts Center and the Center Building,
but there was no way to walk to it on this side of the creek,
while we’ve been gone, earth has been moved and shaped
into a pleasantly curved, inviting path
that connects what is to what will be,

the light in the windows across the creek promises of a future,
the light on the stage in the Center Building tonight reminds us
that every moment can be kindled and blaze bright.

by Henry H. Walker
December 30, ‘17

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