Monday, October 29, 2012


One Sunday in E.M.

Dear Laird,

Being here is like going home again to find you no longer belong.  The theatre stands empty.  “They” said an Arts & Crafts group would occupy it this summer, but no sign of anyone as we drove past.  The Lodge stands empty, silent, crumbling.  We do not spend much time here although we have longed to escape flooded Bloomsburg.  Since it was -- is -- a small town, Bloomsburg did not make headlines, but the destruction was great.  High on our hill we were safe, but how agonizing to sit safe up there to visualize what was happening belong and wait for that flood to crest.  Over 30 feet here.  Out of our 15,000 population, 10,000 were homeless.  A month later the clean up continues.

The past three weeks I have been working with three young people from the Chicago area.  Two of them you know -- David Downs & Eugene O’Neill.  Their capacity to learn is terrific.  Now they break the news to me that they do not intend to leave.  They want to get jobs and work with me when it is possible.  What shall I do?  I am appalled that I can think of no place to send them.  David will be a fine teacher-director.  The other two could be fine actors.  They belong in a good repertory company or a training school for repertory.  Once more I am appalled to find myself training people for a theatre which does not exist.

What are you going to do after the summer season?  Is it a good season?  what will you be doing the first week in September?  We expect to be in Oregon then.  As usual I think of going to Ashland --

We had three great weeks in England.  Travelled by car all about Scotland and Northern England; saw some good theatre in London, but “Julius Caesar” in Stratford was outrageously bad!

Send your lines up & out -- Have fun!

A. K.

NOTE FROM DAVE DOWNS:  Gene and I had spent summer 1971 at Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts. I acted in Laird's production of Hotel Pardiso. Gene played Laertes in Hamlet.  This letter was sent in 1972.  Gene was really named Eugene O'Neill

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