Thoughts on Goleniów

After nearly a month living in northwestern Poland with the Touchstone Theatre ensemble, working at/for/with an international theatre festival, I’ve had a few thoughts.

  1. Pierogies are hard to make.
  2. The Polish people are generous, thoughtful, kind, and willing to help with anything.
  3. There are madly talented people all over the world.
  4. I’m starting to allow myself to believe that I do know what I’m doing, maybe, after all.
  5. There are many, many cats in Goleniów.
  6. I like borscht.
  7. Despite all of the amazingly talented and creative people I met, my favorite folk to work with were a group of young adults from a half-way house in a near-by village.  Their honestly, vulnerability, and willingness to trust us was astonishing.  The art they ended up helping create and perform moved the audience to tears, laughter, and a huge dance-party.  The best!
  8. You can find gelato anywhere.
  9. I went unsure of what I would discover, and a little scared:  I was about to perform a piece of theatre dealing with rising authoritarianism and dictatorship in a country faced with it.
  10. I ended up performing that production, creating a new theatre piece about overcoming monsters, and re-writing a fable I’ve told for years about freedom.  I realize now that everything I was doing was, in the end, about singing a redemption song.
  11. Pierogies are delicious to eat.
  12. Working 14 hour days, ad nauseam can wear a person out.
  13. The cute Polish name I was bestowed by a delightful group of local folk-dancers, and that I delightedly used to introduce myself, has a slang meaning that made everyone smile.
  14. I ate too much.
  15. Did I mention I like borscht?
  16. There is something remarkably powerful about gathering a group of people from all around the world, giving them a platform to express themselves, and despite the variety of performance styles or experience, there was a unifying message:  we are one, and the thing that binds us all together is love.