Of Farms and Fables combines the efforts of professional and non-professional artists by engaging artists in farm work and farm workers in storytelling and acting. The result will be an original performance in October of 2011 which will engage performers and audience in dialogue about local agriculture, farming, and the future of small family farms in Maine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Post-Show Blog Post (Jennie)

Two months have passed since the final performance of Farms & Fables.  In that time, I have been on family vacation, fought my way through piles of receipts registered in three different Quicken accounts, written final reports to funders, returned props and held post-mortem meetings, attended a professional development workshop vibrantly focused on The Future, and kept a cheerful holiday in my home. 

Waiting for preset . . .
Two months have passed, and I am still working on the project, but not working on it.  Looking back to analyze and describe, looking forward to discern What Comes Next.  Taking time to go on long walks with my son, and stressing over that $7.14 that doesn’t belong here!  People ask me if Farms & Fables will continue, what the next project will be, how did it go?  I have some reasonably truthful answers stowed for emergencies in my back pocket but really I’m just buying time until I can change the subject.  For me this is a time of not knowing, not thinking, not answering.  It is a time of In-Betweens, of Not Really, of Maybe, and I’ll Think About It. 

Emily preps the cast for dress rehersal.
Mostly I'm enjoying the freedom of not thinking a whole lot about it.  But sometimes it surprises me to realize that the door really is not closed.  Agricultural news still catches my eye and raises a flurry of active questioning, changing my perspective slightly on the stories that have seeped under my skin.  I stumbled upon this article the other day: Blue Hill Farmer.  And then there is this: Saco Farm.  I know from both Penny and Steph that this is the week of the Ag Trades Show – it’s happening now! – and I find myself wondering: should I go?  Maybe I should go . . . I read a newsletter from the Scarborough Land Trust and it launched me into a twenty-minute monologue to my husband over dinner, on date night.  “Sheesh,” I finish, gulping plum wine.  “We could write another whole play!” 

Emma's "Dress Rehearsal Face"
Claire's "Dress Rehearsal Face"
Neftali's "Dress Rehearsal Face"
Jesse's "Dress Rehearsal Face"
This process of processing, of stepping back to get a better view, of identifying the lessons and the successes, of remembering the triumphs and marveling at the sheer quantity of new experiences, cannot be rushed.  In truth, no part of this particular project could ever stand to be rushed.  We cannot hurry our assessment of treasured moments, painful failures and inordinate joys.  The journey has been too complex, too fleshy.  I confess I do feel a pressure to understand the full impact of the Farms & Fables process now.  To assess its value.  To summarize success and failure for myself and for every remotely interested passerby.  And yet it will not be rushed. 

And so I wait.  In the meantime, to aid our process of remembering and to share another piece of our production with those who could not see it, here are some photographs, which somehow never made it onto this blog:

Flora and Claire - "What do think this growing season will be like?"

Juan Bobo
Full Cast Finale
Flora helps with strike.
And now it's gone . . .