A few musings on the literary musical

timpic pipeOkay, so the picture is sort of a joke, a la Hemmingway, but when it appears as if the cycle of the camp is about to turn toward a younger cast, I often set my mind to literature. The summer of Alice In Wonderland is a prime example of that choice, and the show turned out to be perfect for the emerging talent and the crackling imaginations of a cast just turning toward performing. We had some veterans that year, and they helped move things along and keep us out of trouble, but the younger cast members made the experience truly wonderful. That summer sticks out in my head as a genuine example of what we’re all about.

So here we are this summer, doing two shows, the Shakespeare will likely pull some of the older members from the musical, and Phantom Tollbooth has so much to offer newcomers. It’s allegorical and fantasy-driven, very much like Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels, wherein we recognize several similar devices:

  • Our lead is a fish-out-of-water dreamer.
  • The setting is anything but common and ordinary.
  • The characters we meet are clearly not of this world.
  • The story is episodic – we travel from adventure to adventure.

All of this equates to, not boring lessons, but instead comparisons to real-life circumstances, philosophies, and other genuine silliness we find in the adult world. It’s a world we grown-ups  often take far too seriously, and we’re not entirely sure why, or how we got that way. Like Alice at the edge of the rabbit hole, like Gulliver washed ashore, so our Milo has his first choice: indecision.

Because reading has always been a passion of mine, we’ll no doubt talk about these other stories, and we’ll no doubt talk about other books the cast has read that are similar. To me, one of the key tools behind being an actor is reading. That makes sense, doesn’t it? We have to understand the text, the sub-text, the story, the character, and the point we’re trying to make before we ever begin to relay that to one another –  or to an audience.

About Tim.

The Summer of 2014 marks my tenth (and eleventh!) show directing Youth Summer Theater, and this September I’ll begin my tenth season as Stage Manager for the Toledo Symphony.

I spent the first several years as a young adult traveling as a professional actor, meeting my wife (Jennifer) in shows at the University of Toledo, traveling still more, getting married, and eventually settling back in the Toledo area. Once home, I spent a few years in a corporate setting, specializing in digital media disciplines – information architecture, process development, and project management.

Photo (toledo.com) at Beethoven IX.

After successfully raising a few plants and a cat, Jennifer and I finally set our sights on family and an artistic, small-town home. We moved into Perrysburg, and our daughter studies upright bass in the fantastic program we have here in our system, takes private lessons, and played this year with the Toledo Youth Orchestra.

Jennifer works here in town as an independent insurance agent, and appears consistently on stage with the Toledo Rep and Glacity Collective. Our Glacity connections don’t stop there, as that troupe has been at the core of the collaborative effort between the Symphony and the University for a few years now. I’ve been honored to serve as stage manager or producing-liaison to the productions that have landed at both Carnegie Hall or the Peristyle stage.

Projects abound for us both, and fly by as quickly as they begin. My own performances these days, due to scheduling, are now limited to an occasional staged-reading, or narrating with the Toledo Symphony. My creative side lights up in June, with the sunshine, new casts, and every day spent in the heart of our adopted hometown.

Instagram & Facebook

summertim_bwThere are, I suppose, two sides to Tim. Yes, there’s that on-the-move, ever-so-urban arts, tech, and admin guy. Yes, there’s the suburban, slightly granola, bike-riding, patio-chilling, director guy. I like them both, and Instagram serves best for the quick snap-shots that make up my life. Youth Summer Theater has its own Facebook page. Please “like” it to keep up with what’s happening.

http://instagram.com/timothylake

http://www.facebook.com/PerrysburgYST

Projects

Day one with Amadeus at the Peristyle.

One of my objectives here is to document past and coming projects. Things move so quickly, that I rarely have time to act “in the moment” and document cabarets, TSO Family concerts, holiday narrations, theatrical projects, and Jennifer’s appearances on local stages.

I also have a spot in my heart for empty theaters, new spaces, and the amazing life we have here in downtown Perrysburg. Treasured people and sacred spaces. I’m admittedly not a gifted self-promoter, I much prefer to put my head down and work, but I’ll get together a decent media collection as time permits.