Dear Ireland, if Gershwin and Sondheim walked into a bar, would they hug?

Each Week, Abigail Grimstad, TheatreMaker.ie’s Social Media Manager looks at the posts on social media that caught her attention. A bit of Gershwin, a dash of nostalgia, a letter to a country, add a MASSIVE HUG, and end it with a Sondheim soliloquy. Is this what we need for an enjoyable life?

Each Week, Abigail Grimstad, TheatreMaker.ie’s Social Media Manager looks at the posts on social media that caught her attention.

Hello again everyone!

Not sure about you guys, but it’s felt a bit rough this week for me. In the ebb and flow of this weird time, I find music soothes my soul.  I hope it helps yours too, but first…

Is our skin hungry for human contact? 

This article  hit me hard.

This one caught me unawares early on this week, and has just been sitting in my head since.  It makes absolute sense, and would explain why I’m more emotional than usual looking at throwbacks to friends hugging, couples sitting in cozy cafes, and animals snuggling with their owners that are all over social media. From birth, skin to skin contact is nurturing, is known to strengthen the bonds between child and parent. I’ve definitely heard that hugging for more than 3 seconds (or maybe it’s 5) releases endorphins. No wonder we feel good. Well, I suppose I should say why we now feel bad.  Turns out Our skin is hungry for human touch. And here I thought I just wanted chocolate. Talk about a craving.

One Man Band Does Gershwin

Nothing like a dose of Big Band Swing (or should say Small Band Swing?) to shake off the blues. My question is: How did they all buy the same suit? I can’t even match my socks.

Keeping everyone entertained, old and young

Sounds like EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, has started an initiative to provide a bunch of streaming options as a way to support those feeling particularly bored or down during this time. With RTE, TG4, GAA, Youtube and Instagram selections, they’ve got a great collection of links in their “Stay-At-Home-Library” which should appeal to all ages.  Here’s the link to their website (EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum).

Also, we are the best resource. Those who we know are our best resources. Call your family, grandparents, cousins, relations, friends, and take the indefinite time we feel we have to LISTEN. Let them tell the stories there isn’t always time to share in “normal life”.

Ask them questions.

I’ve learned in recent conversations that my Grandmother was quite the queen bee in high school, (my words, not hers) and she was dating boys left, right, and center. A regular heart-breaker. As a depression baby, she grew up in a world that was still feeling the repercussions of the crash, and the values she learned from her parents reflect that time. Something about hearing “this too shall pass” from my grandmother bolstered me. It gave me hope. And I am ever grateful for her advice.

DEAR IRELAND, a celebration to remember

The Abbey Theatre’s Dear Ireland was the hottest topic on Irish Twitter this week.

 

The Abbey Theatre launched Dear Ireland as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis.  After they announced their stellar line-up of 50 writers paired with 50 actors, the anticipating was palpable (even with social distancing in place.)

After the first performance of the premiere Tuesday night, I think everyone could sense that we were all craving this. Whether or not we need the quarantine dramas or pandemic plays after this crisis has yet to be seen, but speaking for myself, I think simplest was to describe the experience was cathartic. The intimate set up almost leads you to believe that the actor is saying those words to you and you alone (unless you were watching with others) and although it made me miss the magic of a crowded theatre, it also gave me immense hope, and confidence in the endurance of humanity. And our constant need to share the unheard stories.

Talk about a social media buzz! Although we can’t all be in one room as a usual opening night, people were dressing up, getting the wine chilled, and treating it with the pomp and circumstance of a proper opening. Love and community were in abundance.

I think this tweet about sums it up:

One of my favorite moments watching was actually seeing the stream of comments from viewers. Some in response to the current piece being performed, but most expressing gratitude and amazement at this collection.

“Thank you Abbey Theatre for thinking outside of the box, and then constructing this reprieve box for us to climb into and become immersed in. x”
“Boy am I glad I stayed the pace. Four wonderfully engaging nights plumbing the depths of every emotion. Thanks a million, what a gifted, talented team of individuals to bring such creativity to life and share it with us all”
“This is such a gift during these strange times.”

After watching all 4 parts, I have a heart full of admiration and love for all involved, and for anyone finding the energy or drive it takes to create during this time. All four installations are available here:  Abbey Theatre, Dear Ireland for the next six months.

Sondheim’s celebration and THE LADIES WHO LUNCH

On a final note, Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday Celebration, ‘Take Me To The World’ was magic. The highlight of the night was the above rendition of “Ladies Who Lunch”. Too good not to end this post on. Enjoy, and take care of yourselves, and others too.

So would they?  If Gershwin and Sondheim walked into a bar, would they hug?

Stay safe and sound everyone.

Abbie

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