One early September morning, I decided to play hooky. Instead of dropping my two-year-old son Heschel off at the babysitter’s and then heading to Auburn Public Theater to work, we headed into town for a walk with our dear friend Bonita instead. Our first stop was Doug’s Fish Fry to get an ice cream cone for breakfast; our next stop was the Skaneateles Library. Naturally, we headed straight for the children’s room. Bonita and Heschie settled down at a small table and got busy arranging plastic farm animals. I did what I always do in libraries – I headed for the stacks and began to read book titles. A little compulsively, I might add. Because, as you may know, when you live with a two-year-old, you’re always – ALWAYS – on borrowed time, no matter who else is supposed to be watching her/him.
I picked up the book ALMOST ASTRONAUTS, THIRTEEN WOMEN WHO DARED TO DREAM but was only able to read for a minute or two before I heard Bonita shrieking that all too familiar word, “HESCHIE!” I closed the book and headed into the adult section of the library where Bonita was distantly trailing you-know-who. As I overtook her, I handed her the book and asked her to check it out for me. I didn’t have a library card on me and I wanted to read it that night!
I was so taken with the women I met in that book, I wrote a play based on them and produced it at Auburn Public Theater in the summer of 2010. And now, once again, we will stage the play for our musical theater class starting on Wednesday, January 25th. If you know a young person in grades 3-12 who might be interested in joining us, please let them know. More information about the class and the show is available on our website at www.auburnpublictheater.org.
I was inspired by my two-year-old son to play hooky on a lovely, warm September morning back in 2009 and then was immediately rewarded by finding ALMOST ASTRONAUTS and being introduced to a remarkable group of people there in its pages. I didn’t want our acquaintance to end when the book did so I continued to read about all of them until they were so real to me, I felt I had no choice but to give them three dimensional life again, even the ones who had since passed away. Making theater has been, at its finest, a sacred act for me. Making theater from the story of a group of women who dared to dream of becoming astronauts in the late 1950’s has been sublime.
Click HERE for more information on our Musical Theater Class!