Day 84: Re-staging

After a Pet and CT scan, we are thankful and grateful to share that that THERE ARE NO NEW CANCEROUS CELLS IN NOAH’s HILAR LYMPH NODES!!!

Nurse Kelly commented on his “great color and hair.” Knowing that radiation and stem-cell therapy was successful makes me love the Chaplin’s prayer even more.

Cheers to life and being able to live it, fix it, or just enjoy it!!

(Noah wanted me to include this after I asked him a million times.)

Most Merciful God, Creator and Sustainer of LIfe,

We come before you today, humbled by your great gift of life. In your infinite love, you planted within us these tiny cells that have the power to heal and renew. For giving scientists, physicians, and nurses the knowledge to use these cells for our well-being, we give you thanks. For having brought us to this special day, we give you thanks.

Today, we ask a special blessing on Noah as he receives these life-giving cells. Let him trust not only in their power to heal, but in Your invitation to new life and new birth. Grant Noah patience and hope as he waits for the restoration of body, mind, and spirit.

And now, send your spirit upon these cells, blessing them with your love and healing power.

In Your Holy Name, we pray. AMEN
–found on What About Bob

So the restaged US tour has been extended, now running until October 2016: 

  • Paramount, Seattle, April/May 2015,
  • Keller Auditorium, Portland, May 2015
  • ASU Gammage, Tempe AZ, May/June 2015
  • Pantages, Los Angeles, June/July 2015
  • Costa Mesa, August 2015
  • Orpheum, San Francisco, Aug-Oct 2015
  • San Diego Civic Theatre, California, October 2015
  • Centennial Hall, Tuscon Arizona, Oct-Nov 2015
  • Majestic Theatre, San Antonio Texas, Nov. 2015
  • Hobby Center, Houston Texas, Nov. 2015
  • Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Dec 2015 - Jan 2016 
  • Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Jan. 2016
  • Times-Union Center, Jacksonville Florida, Feb. 2016
  • Adrienne Arsht Center, Miani Florida, Feb-March 2016
  • Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville, March 2016
  • North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston SC, March-April 2016
  • Landmark Theatre, Syracuse, April 2016
  • Orpheum Theater, Omaha Nebraska, April-May 2016
  • Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, May 2016 
  • DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids MI, May 2016
  • Kentucky Center, Louisville, June 2016
  • State Theatre Cleveland, Ohio, June-July 2016 
  • Kennedy Center, Washington, July-Aug 2016
  • Saroyan Theatre, Fresno CA, Oct. 2016


Long-Unheard Harlem Renaissance Opera Coming in June

“Voodoo,” a long-unheard opera by the pioneering African-American composer and Harlem Renaissance figure H. Lawrence Freeman, will return this June to New York, where it had its premiere in 1928, for a pair of concert performances that will be recorded.

The opera will be performed June 26 and 27 at the Miller Theater at Columbia University by Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater and the Harlem Chamber Players; Gregory Hopkins is to conduct. Columbia University is planning a conference in conjunction with the performances called “Restaging the Harlem Renaissance: New Views on the Performing Arts in Black Manhattan.”

The presenters said they believe that the revival of “Voodoo” will mark its first performances since 1928, when it had its premiere at the Palm Garden in New York more than a decade after it was composed. A review of that first production in The New York Times, which said it was performed by “an all-negro cast of thirty singers,” described the piece as combining themes from “spirituals, Southern melodies and jazz rhythms” with “Italian operatic forms.” In her book “American Opera,” Elise K. Kirk wrote that “Voodoo” was broadcast on a local radio station.

Freeman, who lived from 1869 through 1954, grew up in Cleveland, organized his own opera company in Denver, conducted, taught music, wrote criticism and became a well-known figure in Harlem. He conducted his opera “The Martyr” at Carnegie Hall in 1947 in a performance by the Negro Grand Opera Company. But most of his operas remain unpublished; his papers and scores are kept in Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.

“We are very excited to be recording this concert live and to make this recording available through Columbia Libraries,” Annie Holt, the co-founder of Morningside Opera, said in a statement, adding that there is a plan to transcribe the score using digital music software to increase access to Freeman’s music and encourage future productions.

Mr. Hopkins, the artistic director of Harlem Opera Theater, said that he hoped that the production would spark a dialogue about a number of issues. “Issues such as defining American opera, what kinds of communities can enjoy and produce opera, the role of opera in the Harlem Renaissance, and how might popular music – especially American forms like jazz and spirituals – influence opera,” he said in a statement.


  • H. Lawrence Freeman at the piano, circa 1921
  • The cast of Freeman’s opera “The Martyr” at Carnegie Hall in 1947

‘…there’s a certain kind of unboring boredom that’s fascinating, engrossing, transcendent, and downright sexy. And then there’s the other kind of boring: let’s call it boring boring.  Boring boring is a client meeting; boring boring is having to endure someone’s self-indulgent poetry reading; boring boring is watching a toddler for an afternoon; boring boring is the seder at Aunt Fanny’s. Boring boring is being somewhere we don’t want to be; boring boring is doing something we don’t want to do.

Unboring boring is a voluntary state; boring boring is a forced one. Unboring boring is the sort of boredom that we surrender ourselves to when, say, we go to see a piece of minimalist music. I recall once having seen a restaging of an early Robert Wilson piece from the 1970s. It took four hours for two people to cross the stage; when they met in the middle, one of them raised their arm and stabbed the other. The actual stabbing itself took a good hour to complete. Because I volunteered to be bored, it was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen.’

- Kenneth Goldsmith, ‘Being Boring’, 2004.

The School Of Boredom

Take breaks so long you get bored.

It’s one of the early and lasting lessons of my almost-year-long journey with Constructive Laziness.

This hasn’t, objectively, been a long break. The show was just two weeks ago now, and I normally give myself a three week pass post-show to be a depressed bag of shit on the couch. I’m pleasantly surprised to report that neither depression or bag-of-shittery has really happened.

I’ve felt tired. Discombobulated. Yes. But I have not collapsed in a heap and do not feel that the world has ended.

Progress, darlings.

I had my two meetings. I have another in a couple of weeks. I performed and spoke at an event my alumni association held in the private room of a bar near Union Square. Jessica and I cobbled together a two-person excerpt of the show and restaged it for an awkward narrow space with kitchen ventilation fans chugging away and bored staff leaning nearby. I spoke about my work, my particular voice, and the impact of addressing/embracing my Canadian and expat identities in this work. I got invited to speak on a panel at a conference in New York. That happens in June. 

Actually, this hasn’t been much of a break at all.

But still, I can feel the mosquito-itch urgency of boredom tugging at me. There’s something that needs to get done. Or clarified. The next star wants to be charted. 

No, wait. I know exactly what I need to do. 

It’s take a notebook and a pen and hang out in nature for a couple hours, then end up at a café with a good cup of coffee and a croissant. I need to clear some mental space and allow for drift. I need to fill up the well. I may have managed things well for this last development period and production, but I am nonetheless depleted. Energetically and creatively tapped. I have to fill up the gas tank with cherry blossoms and wandering. 

The itch is pulling me to this gentle labor. I can’t set the next goal until I recover from the last. There’s a very clear order to things. Before you inhale, you must exhale completely. That’s the deal and the process. A process that continues to unfold even when I think I’m no longer involved in the process. 


What if the process never ends? What if it’s a continuous line that only appears to segment itself into projects or endings or beginnings? That “ending” or “finished” is just the mind’s trick?

How would you work if your work never stopped?

Talk like a Roman

Talk like a Roman

A great vlog post by the esteemed Lindybeige about language in Ancient Rome – a post that has a very close connection with my Aculeo & Amunet stories1 – and also has a certain connection whit the Great Swape Debate.

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the staging zone : restaged

Hi, everyone! Today I am launching what you could consider to be v2.0 of my blog, the staging zone. Instead of running on my own DIY blogging software as the previous version did, the blog is now hosted on Tumblr, although I’ve styled the theme to make it look slightly familiar.

There are a few reasons for this change:

  • It was difficult to read posts. I never did manage to implement paging, making some posts difficult to access, and there were all sorts of other usability issues.
  • It was difficult to write posts. At some point the Markdown converter stopped working, meaning I had to write in HTML and hope it was valid, which wasn’t fun. Also there was no way to edit posts once published.
  • The software was difficult to maintain. I set up the blog as a writing project, not as a programming project. Turns out creating blogging software isn’t as easy as it seems, and the time spent making it work well would have been better spent actually writing for it.
  • RSS/Atom is unpopular. Despite the technology being so convenient, syndicated feeds just aren’t used a whole lot nowadays. Instead, people use centralised and proprietary technologies to keep track of blogs. Luckily Tumblr sort of has the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you can follow this blog using the built-in system, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

As for why I chose Tumblr over other software like WordPress, that’s a story for another time.

I haven’t quite decided whether I’m going to transfer any of my previous posts over to Tumblr, but if you really want to access them, you can do so here.

Although I’ve done some preliminary styling, don’t be surprised if the design changes a little while I tweak it to my liking.

Hopefully now that my blog is easier to use, you’ll see posts more frequently. So stay tuned, and follow the staging zone!

EDIT: I forgot a couple of things. Firstly, until I figure out how to create a footer that explicitly says so, I declare that all text I author on this blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Secondly, if anyone really wants the source code to the staging zone v1.0, I’d be happy to release it under the MIT license — just send me an ask / fan mail / email <>, but be warned that the code really is awful. Also, if you can see this, then editing posts works. Hooray!