The Artist Doesn’t Always Know


One of the characteristics of great art is that it can evoke emotions in the viewer of which the artist had no awareness when she created the piece. My friend Stephanie Golino, an amazing playwright, always thinks her pieces are musically & balletically lighthearted; yet I and other audience members often find sadness and separation underneath the gaiety; Stephanie is always surprised at what her viewers see.  In a story of a man whose first love ran off and joined the convent, Stephanie describes the ending, where the man finds a new satisfying career and the nun is happy, as a feel-good ending.  I sat through all the rehearsals of this show and most of the run, and I cried every time—maybe 97 times I cried.  For I saw the ending being about the most enduring kind of loss: the loss of a first love, with no chance for a sequel, no chance to retrieve the love.

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