Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chicago is a theater town. And how.

I am visiting Chicago for the Memorial Service of my first great theater teacher, Robin Bennett. This morning I met her daughter Jenny and Jenny's partner for breakfast. When I met them Jenny handed me the copy of the Riverside Edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare that my school had won when we took our ensemble developed "Songs and Sonnets" to the Folger Shakespeare Library's High School Festival in 1988, pictured here. Apparently Robin had wanted me to have it. The place we went to breakfast was an Irish pub type place called Hackney's I believe, with lots of carved wood and ketchup bottles on the tables. It was full of people in Chicago Cubs regalia, who were headed to a football game. During the meal, the Riverside sat on the table, but I had set my black leather gloves down on top of it, obscuring the title. While we were eating, not one but TWO waitresses stopped by the table, guessed correctly what the book was based on familiarity with the decor on the binding (the title was obscured remember), and voiced their enthusiasm for its contents. Can't really picture this happening in another American city. Although I suppose we should make some allowances for the fact that the spirit of Robin Bennett was probably working her voodoo on the waitresses to make sure they noticed.


Rachiewrites said...

That is a great story, Andrew, and I also enjoyed the reminiscences about Robin Bennett by another of her students, which you published earlier. There is nothing like an inspiring teacher, to fuel us for life.

Peter said...

Thanks for your words last night at Robin's memorial. My son had her as a freshman last year, and your tribute, among others, left me wondering what kind of impact she might have had on his life, if he had more time with her, as you did. But his one year with her was a gift, as were your thoughtful memories last night.

Andrew Wood Acting Studio said...

Thanks for your words. Peter, It was a great pleasure to be there, and it was wonderful to see the high regard the students at Jones have for Robin. After having a year with Robin, your son now has a standard with which he can evaluate future instructors. These future teachers will go about things in their own way, but you son knows what a good teacher "tastes like", and will be able to be guided by that knowledge in the future.

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