Sunday, July 10, 2011

For Dave

Last night we opened Twelfth Night to a record crowd. Rebec Vineyards was serving wine, Sweet Briar dining services was selling food, and our fantastic cast performed in front of an incredible natural vista on a wonderful set created by our production team. It was a very successful opening and I am so proud of everyone involved. We also met our "Station Transformation" goal yesterday and thank you to all who donated and who attended the barbecue yesterday.

For today's post I wanted to put my director's note on the blog. This production has meant a lot to me because I have personally dedicated it to my friend Dave Aviv who passed away this winter. I miss him very much and he brought a lot of laughter and inspiration to those he met. Below is my note.

Twelfth Night was written around 1601, at the height of Shakespeare's artistic prowess. Around this time he also wrote works like Hamlet, Henry V, and As You Like It. Shakespeare was writing work that was funny and profound. His tragedies during this time have moments of levity and his comedies are rife with profound revelation of the human condition. Twelfth Night follows this trend.

The Twelfth Night holiday in Christian tradition comes at the end of Epiphany. It is a day of merriment and its focus is on eating and drinking, an activity much loved by Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew of the play. It is also a celebration of the "world turning upside down." It is believed that the play was written as a Twelfth Night entertainment and it celebrates the themes and ideas of the holiday. Characters overcome sadness by embracing merriment and the world also turns upside down for many of the characters as they fight mistaken identity and search for love.

The message of the play for us this last month and a half has been about embracing life and living it to the fullest. This past winter I lost a close friend of mine, Nadav (Dave) Aviv. I have decided to dedicate our production of Twelfth Night to Dave's memory because Dave always lived his life to the fullest. I believe the spirit of the show was the spirit of Dave. He brought so much laughter and joy to my life. Dave met many obstacles in his life, but Dave was a fighter. He overcame a lot to become a physician. When I was around Dave the most, he was going through the difficult process of applying and working his way through medical school. He never wavered and he always managed to bring laughter and joy to those around him. Dave was an inspiration to me. Being around Dave always filled my life with merriment.

When we meet Olivia and Viola they are battling the loss of family. This is profound. Their battle is a battle with sadness, but through love and laughter they find happiness. They learn to embrace life, love, and enjoy the company of those around them. Feste sings at the end of the play, "For the rain it raineth every day." There will always be loss and sadness, but despite the sadness that we may sometimes find in life, it is important to find laughter and love along the way.

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director

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