Wow, I can't believe we're in the final week of this journey. There are only 7 more performances of #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike. Somehow, by some great miracle, this show has flourished with the same troupe of actors, (Maren Bush, Toni DiBuono, Danielle Lee Greaves, Margaret Reed, John Scherer, and Gregory Isaac Stone), wearing the same costumes designed by the incomparable Mimi Maxmen, hearing the same music/sound design by the awesome Jim Swonger, with the gorgeous sets designed by Bill Clarke and Nicolas Dorr, director by the uniquely gifted director, Bruce Jordan, under the producing guidance of the brilliant Mark Cuddy (Geva Theatre Center & The Cape Playhouse) and the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award winning Cleveland Playhouse's Laura Kepley.
I am over-the-moon grateful for this creative opportunity provided by the ever-enthusiastic and supportive casting director, Paul Fouquet and my agent, Meg Pantera (& Katie Murphy). All that I've learned and grown as an actor, a woman, a mother, a friend, a sister, a teacher, and a colleague is more than enough for many more blogs.
My mother died on Mother's Day, the morning of two shows at the Geva Theatre Center. I'll never forget the love and support of my fellow actors, especially the loving hug and presence of John Scherer in Danielle's and my dressing room after the matineé when I told everyone about my mom's passing. I had been instructed during rehearsals at The Cleveland Playhouse not to cry during Vanya's rant at the end of the play because John's character would probably stop to attend to my character (Masha) if she were so upset. That Sunday of my mother's death, though, I could not help the tears from streaming down my face as Vanya recalled elements of my childhood when my mother and sisters and I would play Monopoly and Scrabble and Tommy Kirk shot his dog in Old Yeller, etc. I apologized to John as we walked offstage after the curtain call and told the cast about my mom's passing, which then engendered hugs and warmth from all of the cast. I'm so grateful for their support and love during that difficult time. Bless you all, my fellow VASAMASers.
I'm dedicating these final performances to my loving, warm, caring, and ever-supportive mother. She would have been over-the-moon delighted and proud of this particular performance of mine. Mary Dean Doolittle, you are and will always be deeply loved and appreciated for all you provided to me and my sisters, your loving daughters Kathy, Carolyn, and Beezie in so many ways. Especially from me for all those Broadway musical albums that ignited my passion for acting as I'd belt out songs as a little girl in our living rooms. Bless you on your new journey as I complete this one of mine and begin a new one when I return to your grandson, Matthew, for his final two years of high school in New Jersey while your other wonderful grandson, Zachary, finishes his two final years at The Ohio State University. We all know just how over-the-moon proud and delighted you are with them. And every time I go to the beaches here in Dennis, Massachusetts and its surrounds, I think of how much you would have loved it here since you had such an affinity for our California beaches. We'll be walking the Capitola beach in your honor in December as part of your memorial.
Love you and miss you so much, Mom.