By Tim Smith

Where Ar[ts] Thou?

Well, this period continues to offer surprises, and that can be exhausting. Remember, comfort is found in and through the arts.

Last week's column had been submitted right about the time that our national, state and local agencies began implementing their plans, so I trust you are taking necessary precautions and are enjoying extended spring breaks. Stay safe, and now might be the perfect time to read that book sitting next to the bed and check that off the to-do list.

Arts In Action: In light of our current health challenges, I'll approach the work of colleagues Paul and Karen Larson in California, and I know they would appreciate this slight detour to the larger stage, from a different angle.

The performance arts are impacted mightily in times like this, no audiences, no production. Venues are schedule driven, and building operational partnerships are challenging enough even in normal periods. Please support when and if you are able.

Note: I just completed a Facetime call with the Larsons and sadly, much of the season at Chino (CA) Community Theatre has been cancelled, however, they are planning to roll the missed offerings into next season. Well done.

Arts in Action, too: Heard from a favorite graduate school theater professor who is a noted playwright and we were discussing the writing experience, and he mentioned that he has had 700 readings, and/or productions of his work around the world. Poetry now is at the forefront in this new season of his creative life.

Attended the 35th Annual Texas Storytelling Festival in Denton, Texas and hearing aloud what we would normally read, is something to celebrate. Here's to another long run.

"They say the neon lights are bright, on Broadway . . . "; Well, not currently due to the virus challenge, yet shortly, we will be in the run-up period to the Tony Awards for the 2019-2020 season.

The forced shutdown will undoubtedly impact the Tony committee's selection process for the eligible productions and individual achievements.

Nominations are presented on April 28th. I am anticipating a new date for the awards, now scheduled for early June. As of this time, the American Theatre Wing, the awarding organization, through its website, has not released updated information.

A wonderful discovery: We retained our tickets to see a production last weekend of the Mel Brooks' musical, “The Producers.”

Performed at the famous Granbury Opera House, Granbury, Texas, (a work of art unto itself), and 'produced' by the Granbury Theatre Company. This statement of theatrical art was simply wonderful. Clearly one of the top overall amateur productions I have ever seen. More on this experience in upcoming columns.

The author muses: "Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge. "Winston Churchill.

T e d 's t a l k s: Brown Paper Tickets. I learned about this organization via this email posting.

"To our events community: For the first time in Brown Paper Tickets' 20-year history, we are reaching out to our entire community of fans and supporters because artists, performers, and organizers are in crisis. They need our help now. The impact of COVID-19 on small, community organizations is unprecedented. From independent bookstores, to local theaters, to arts nonprofits, event organizers are in immediate financial danger. For them, every ticket matters – one canceled event could mean the difference making rent and closing the doors forever. Find an event or organization to support."

That's my Will (Rogers): "Rumor travels faster, but it won't stay put as long as truth."

Our town needs to support our towns. A former Rotary exchange student who lived with us in Pauls Valley is from Italy and he just sent an email updating us on his family. All is well, but they too are self-isolating. His region of Italy is at the epicenter of the virus.

Keep that smile: Remember, the castaways on “Gilligan's Island” survived for years without toilet paper.

Welcoming you into the room and provoking conversation, weekly, since '06.

See you in the paper.

t A s

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