Everything old is new again
July 2, 2013 —
I’m no hoarder, but I’m not keen on throwing things away either. As a result, I am completely on board with recycling, reusing and (my new personal favorite) repurposing. Wiktionary.org defines repurpose as “to reuse for a different purpose on a long-term basis,” which includes altering the original, e.g. “the church was repurposed as a nightclub by removing the pews.” Repurposing is big here in the Upper Delaware River Valley and I often stop to admire the clever projects that my friends and neighbors have produced. Whether it’s candlesticks from old wine bottles, benches refashioned from wooden pallets, or fridge magnets out of old keyboards, endless ideas surface daily and the scope of some projects are inspiring.
While making plans to attend a reading of Harold Pinter’s “A Slight Ache” in Liberty, NY, I checked in with Liberty Free Theatre’s artistic director and founder Paul Austin.
Knowing that the company is on the move and presenting shows in a variety of locations, I wanted to be sure where I was headed. “Tonight’s reading is the second in a series of events presented in collaboration with the Liberty Museum and Arts Center (www.libertymuseum.com) Paul told me, “while awaiting completion of the new theatre space, anticipated to be ready sometime next spring.” Recalling my theatre history classes from college, I was unsure if my interest was leaning more toward Pinter or the new space that Austin and Co. are readying, but as it turned out, both were pretty interesting. As for the reading, “A Slight Ache” was written for radio presentation in 1958 and has been described as a “tragicomic” play that “concerns a married couple’s dreams and desires, focusing mostly on the husband’s fears of the unknown, of growing old, and of the ‘Other’ as a threat to his self-identity.” (www.wikipedia.com). Austin and Karen Young are consummate performers, and although I was often tempted to close my eyes and absorb the words (as originally intended) it was impossible to take my eyes off of Young, who is riveting. Her impressive resume (“Torch Song Trilogy,” “The Sopranos”) makes sense, given her nuanced, layered and incredibly charming performance in Pinter’s confusing, wordy and unpredictable ode to manners and marriage. Austin was (as always) equally up to the challenge and if anyone can make Pinter accessible, it’s these two.