Good morning! As you know, I attended a memorial last night for Craig Noel, the man who shaped this theater for 70 years, first as an actor and director – then after WWII, as the Artistic Director. It was beautifully done, with tributes from many actors and directors who worked with Craig over the years. At the end of his career, he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts – the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence – at the White House. I was proud to have known and worked with him, to have called him my friend. I worked as a vocal coach on many shows he directed and he never gave up trying to get me to act in one of them. He was passionate about theater, about education (he founded the MFA program that brought me out to San Diego in 1993), about actors and how theater could enrich the community. He had a wonderful laugh and a wicked sense of humor. He was a mentor to so many – he was my husband’s mentor. Craig was the kind of man who enriched and touched the life of everyone around him.
So many people were there from years past; it was amazing. I saw many, many old friends and students. It was that rare event that became a reunion. I was very conscious that an era had ended and that I would never be with all these wonderful artists again. So today I am reflecting on a life well lived and on all the people who are better for having known Craig Noel.
I have to switch direction a bit here to share a package that arrived in my mail slot yesterday. I waited until I arrived back at the apartment to open it.
International Air Mail! It was from my friend Norma who lives in Australia. What is inside?
Norma told me that there is a place in Sydney where you can visit Koalas who have been raised to be around humans. You can cuddle them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Thank you, Norma for this wonderful gift. I am very touched by your thoughtful gesture. As I mention frequently, the generosity of bloggers continues to amaze me.
Have a wonderful day.