After eight years away, I am back in Providence for the summer, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Thayer Street, the main drag at Brown University, is a mix of the startlingly familiar and just startling…East Side Pockets still nestled into its fragrant little corner of the world- now across the street from a trendy sushi restaurant. The dingy CVS still competing with an even dingier Store 24 (changed only in name to the bewildering Todeschi Food Mart) yet, my favourite coffee shop, Oceans, is now replaced by a Thai restaurant. It’s hardly the town that time forgot, but there still remains a lot to remember, to reminisce about and to rekindle my love affair with this little college town of my youth.
And the play? The play is pretty good, if I do say so myself. With the incredible input of a fabulous director (Shana Gozansky – HIRE HER) and three pretty remarkable MFA candidate actors (Barrie Kreinik, Lean Anderson and the now graduated Rich Williams – HIRE THEM TOO) the play has already come leaps and bounds in just the first week. It’s such an amazing process to see it come to life in the hands of these very skilled theatre practitioners, and though Shana and I have been working on rewrites since March, that tweaking and shaping that gets done once the actors are on their feet really feels like the finishing touches.
In general I have spent the last week at rehearsals and reconnecting with this amazing little gem of a city- remembering with alternating laughter and cringes the rich and (mostly) happy years I lived here. Ah Providence. Good to be back.