Leigh Hendrix is a Providence, RI based theatre artist and educator. How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less is her solo performance piece and this is her blog.
I didn’t get to take the workshop with Guillermo Gomez Pena at AS220 that led to this performance at 95 Empire because I work for the space where the workshop and performance were held and I had work to do to help make it happen. And it happened and it was wonderful.
I was able to spend some time with Guillermo and his collaborator Michelle Ceballos Michot here and there and it was always interesting and energizing, but the only time I heard him speaking about making work, about collaboration, was when I passed by the door of the black box that was propped open just a little bit. I heard Guillermo’s voice speaking to a silent (I presume enraptured) room:
“Treat your collaborators with a tenderness, kindness, but also a firmness. You are becoming la familia…”
He was likely speaking specifically about how this temporary ensemble of local art makers should come together in just three short days to make a show people would be coming to see.
But it resonated so deeply with me as I move back into a collaborative theatre making pair to finish creating a show we have started and as I look around me for new collaborators, new people to help me make things. It felt like the universe tapping me on the shoulder as I made meaning of a coincidence; the only words I heard from the workshop were the exact words I needed to hear.
we are undone,
knowing the events
without the plot: caution and light and the odor of skin
the secret, a loom. What will happen?
From Jorie Graham’s “On Why I Would Betray You,” in Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts. 1980.