I have loved Public Works Dallas (PWD) since reading a bit about it on Dallas Theater Center’s website in preparation for my job interview. Not just a program, a heart change maker. It really begins when you visit the workshops spread out across communities in Dallas and meet warm and kind folks eager to invite you to their table for a chat or meal and chat. Liz Mikel invited everyone in the room to warm-up. I loved it. I miss visiting in-person as I’m sure all of our PWD friends do also.
The image of the Grinch’s heart growing larger and larger is the best descriptor of my own when I attended PWD performances for The Tempest (2017), The Winter’s Tale (2018), and As You Like It (2019). You have to be there. And we miss being there, in-person, shoulder to shoulder, warming up – everyone in the room – stage and production teams, volunteers, and of course our friends ages 5 to almost 95.
On March 14, 2020, the PWD team had to reimagine how to connect with our friends at Bachman Lake Together, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Beckley Saner Recreation Center, Janie C. Turner Recreation Center, and Aspire. Together, workshops went virtual to keep our friends from feeling a little less lonely, and we needed to connect too.
Safety first! So while we are unable to embark on rehearsals for our annual pageant production for a second year due to COVID, virtual rehearsals for a summer showcase will culminate to an in-person technical rehearsal and filming in July. And it is with great joy, my mom and I are rehearsing alongside my favorite PWD friends from Beckley Saner and Janie C. Turner Recreation Centers and new ones too.
Volunteering with friends in The Tempest
And what about friends! Producer Brandi Giles and Director Tatyana-Marie have assembled quite a stellar team of designers and crew. With Megan Winters as Stage Manager, we are in good hands. For the third rehearsal, Playwright Jonathan Norton joins us. And then, writing begins.
Two rehearsals down and six weeks remaining which offer more memorable moments to create and share with my mom allowing us to break from rearranging closets or cleaning files. I’ve marked Wednesdays on the kitchen calendar, submitted our official forms, sent our photos, and created a PWD folder to store emails from Brandi and Megan. Now to capture measurements, photos dressed in blue, and dreams to share.