THE THEATRE SCENE: “Milton Reflecting” by the NYC based theater company PearlDamour, is about five t
I wish I could say I “worked” on this show, but it wouldn’t be entirely true. You see, one day I got one of those great emails; the kind from out of nowhere that I was recommended by a mutual colleague. Perfect timing since they needed technical assistance on short notice. Like I said, I didn’t work on this show. I accepted the client’s contract and negotiated the terms of the production.
My schedule was packed with a trip to Cleveland Ohio, but luckily, I have the best assistant technical director ever. My husband, having recently changed jobs, was having a slow week and exactly on the days when PearlDamour needed loading in and striking back. I confirmed all the arrangements and left town. My husband executed my plan perfectly and even out did himself in asking his Dad for help.
Too bad the men couldn’t attend the show they worked on. I used my free tickets for my daughters and myself. We took in the 2:30pm performance after first visiting the children’s room at the Milton Public Library. The children’s room was on the main floor, but the show was to be in the lower level, a meeting room converted to fit about 60 people comfortably. We sat in the upper level in order to enjoy the handsome platforms borrowed from the nearby Curry College.
Milton is about a collection of five towns all named Milton from around the United State of America; North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. The talented pair of visual artists interviewed Miltonians and observed life/culture/nature in all five towns before compiling the similarities and differences into this dramatic piece to highlight our national community. They have been known to stage their work in unlikely of places as part of the message; i.e. meeting room of the town library in the town the play is about.
The was an art piece first and a play second. The actors were multitalented. They sang and followed the script by talking directly with audience members. You felt like you were watching a town come alive in the morning and go to sleep at night. In the middle they passed around mementos and photos of the people, places, and things that contribute to the wonder of the towns and over all the country.
Our town of Milton, located in eastern Massachusetts, was pronounced for its diversity. It was the leading Milton in blended cultures and promotion of inclusion. That was a surprise to hear, but it’s power was not lost on me. If this little town south of Boston was the most integrated one, I am more worried about our country than I was before today. Just knowing that this display is being performed all around the country for the purpose of sharing this message refreshes me.
I hope all the citizens of the Milton’s have a chance to see this interpretation. The weird thing is that the towns of Milton could be any town anywhere with any name really. Just a quiet town with its history and its people living their lives, nothing extraordinary until the story is told with feeling. The space had tape on the floor to look like a road map. The props used to show places around town were models created by the students of Brown University and the University of Washington.
Milton Reflecting is one of those shows that is challenging to put together taking years of work creating something from nothing. However, the rewards for the direct participants and the communities as a whole are ever reaching. People sometimes need to know how special they are, how they contribute to the whole, and what is in store if they keep on keeping on. I feel generally inspired.
Okay, I got through that whole blog without describing how my children keep talking and moving through the whole show. Anyone can attest to the fact that they took in the play the best they could for it not having a dancing CGI animal. They were impressed with their Dad and Grandpa’s work on the show. The show has already closed and moved on to its next stop. Stay tuned to your Facebook event invitations. You never know when it’s a work of art you get to be a part of.
Get seen on the scene with me next time!