By Nikki Rowell
Patron Services Manager
Photo by Kat Gloor
As a child, I had thought I would grow up to become a pediatrician. I wanted to be like my Grandfather and take care of children. My mother, on the other hand, always knew that I was going to be in the arts. Maybe it was the constant singing or use of accents that tipped her off. She used to tell me I spoke with a French accent when I was 3 years old. We’re not French. I digress.
As was often the case, my mother was right. I fell in love with theater and have firmly planted myself in this work for the past 10 years. I like to think that made her happy.
When I was 23, I lost my mother to breast cancer. In the first moments of shock and grief, I wanted desperately for the world to stop. To just pause for one second and recognize that she was no longer with us. But the world kept moving. Life goes on.
I tell you this because when I read The Year of Magical Thinking, I felt like Joan Didion had given me permission somehow to take that pause. And not only take a pause, but be able to experience this with other human beings. Watching a play like this reminds us that even if the subject matter may seem difficult, we are not alone. We are not alone in our grief. That realization is beautiful and what makes theater different from any other form of entertainment.
And so I look forward to giving myself permission to pause for a moment and watch The Year of Magical Thinking. And I’ll appreciate the words that Joan Didion has written. For her husband. For my mother. For me. For all of us.