Wow!  I’m thrilled that so many people are excited about purchasing tickets for FUN HOME, and about taking advantage of our benefit for the LGBT Center of Central PA!  I know it can be hard to remember to jump on these sorts of things when tickets actually go on sale—so if you’re interested in tickets for the benefit performance (that’s 7:30 PM on Saturday, October 7), just complete this form and I’ll make sure you’re at the top of the list when we start to process reservations in late July!

Remember that post a couple of months ago when I told you I was looking forward to my new role as Director of Music and Education at Open Stage of Harrisburg, and that I “[couldn’t] wait to dig my teeth into FUN HOME, the amazing musical that holds the season opener slot”?

Ahem.

Well, it looks like I’m going to have plenty of teeth in this amazing work of musical theatre.  The cast list has been officially finalized, and in addition to my role as musical director for the production, I will also (thanks to an apparent paucity of 40-something baritenors in central Pennsylvania) be treading trepidatiously back onto the boards to play Bruce, Alison Bechdel’s closeted father.  This will be the first leading role I’ve tackled since Edgar in Bat Boy and Jon in Tick, Tick… Boom!, both of which were about a decade ago.  To play this rich, challenging role, and to share the stage with the folks whose auditions I was privileged to observe and accompany, will be a high point of my career I’m sure.

FUN HOME is a rare work of musical theatre—the characters are deep and vulnerable, the script is authentic and raw, and the music… oh, heavens.  I’ve only been working with the score for a few weeks and I’m already overwhelmed by the genius of Jeanine Tesori’s gifts as a theatrical composer.  (If you’re familiar with Shrek the Musical or Thoroughly Modern Millie, you already have an inkling.)

If you will be—or can arrange to be—anywhere near Harrisburg during October, please plan to join us.  We have 14 performances on the calendar (with a handful of additional dates held as pending in case tickets sell as quickly as we hope they do!) between October 6 and October 29.

But I especially hope you’ll consider joining us for the 7:30 performance on Saturday, October 7, and that you’ll purchase your ticket through UUCV.  Do that, and $10 of each ticket you purchase will benefit the LGBT Center of Central PA, and the queer folks and allies of all ages that that wonderful organization serves.  These tickets are on sale now!  You can reserve yours right here! sold out!

If October 7 won’t suit your calendar, yYou can view the full list of performances and purchase tickets at the Open Stage of Harrisburg web site, or call the Open Stage box office at 717-232-OPEN (6736).

And of course, you could make me ridiculously happy by using my new position as Director of Music & Education for Open Stage to motivate you to purchase a Season 32 subscription.  For $120 you’ll be able to see all five of the subscription series productions: Fun HomeAkeelah and the BeeThe FlickCollective Rage: A Play in Five Betties, and Little Women!  Season subscriptions are available right now!  (Note: season subscriptions are not eligible to support the LGBT Center benefit.)

In any case, please let me know when you’re planning to attend, and I’ll make a point of coming out to say hi after the show.  You can thank me then for encouraging you to come.

We announced our Season 32 lineup on Monday, and the excitement is mounting!  I, for one, can’t wait to dig my teeth into FUN HOME, the amazing musical that holds the season opener slot, and which will be my first official production as the OSH Director of Music and Education.  If you’re interested in auditioning for FUN HOME, or for any of the three upcoming COURT STREET CABARETs (which I’m also directing), or for any of the other amazing titles on the slate for next season, grab your calendar and head to our Season 32 Audition signup genius.  Appointments are filling up fast, and I would just love to see you there!

Like father, like son. But not really.

Sometimes someone crosses your path and you connect for reasons you can’t explain.  So… there’s this guy.  Gabe.  I’ll write more about him someday, I’m sure, but now isn’t the time.  (We have a class to prepare for.)

For today, on his 16th birthday, here’s our relationship boiled down into one 6-minute song.  Happy birthday, Gabe.  For what it’s worth, I consider you to be the son I never knew I wanted.

(And here’s a YouTube video of me performing the piece with some of Gabe’s friends at my 2017 Spring Studio Showcase.)

“More”

Out of nowhere you sat down beside me:
shoulder to shoulder, and somehow heart to heart.
I didn’t know what I had found in you when you found me—
only that moment was only a start.

Over coffee and under a deadline,
saving a grade and building a rapport,
moment by moment, learning how wrong I was to never want a son,
finding that now I just want more:

I want more days of laughter, more nights of hearts opened wide.
I want more miles of driving with you there along for the ride.
More chances to fail, more honest “I’m sorry”s,
More “you made my day” kind of smiles.
If a father could ever have chosen a son,
I’d have taken a pass until you came along.
The “how did we get here” and “what happens now” is unsure.
But with each day that passes with you in my life,
I’m just grateful I’ve gotten to know you more.

Sharing secrets and trading tough questions—
how to be human, how to be men—
mentor and mentored, each of us taking turns to teach and learn,
an odd kind of family, the best kind of friends.

I still want more days of laughter, more nights of hearts opened wide.
I want more miles of driving with you there along for the ride.
More chances to fail, more honest “I’m sorry”s,
More “man, I missed you” kind of smiles.
Any day that I see you’s a beautiful day,
and “I’ll see you tomorrow”’s the best thing you say.
The “how did we get here” and “what happens now” is unsure.
But with each day that passes with you in my life,
I’m just grateful I’ve gotten to know you more.

I want more days of laughter, more nights of hearts opened wide.
I want more miles of driving with me just along for the ride.
More chances to fail, more honest “I’m sorry”s,
More “can’t find the words” kind of smiles.
I promise, there’s one thing you can be sure of:
your life will know many who offer you love,
and someday you’ll find one you’d give up your whole life for.
Other loves will feel deeper, or newer, or stronger.
There are already those who have loved you much longer,
But nobody ever, as long as I live, I promise you this, will love you more.

©2017 David M. Glasgow (ASCAP)

I can’t.  I’m sorry.  Basta.  I’ve tried, but I can’t.

I just can’t keep the brave face on all the time.  I can’t have the right words at the ready all the time.  Sometimes I can’t keep the wrong words from spewing out of my mouth (or, more likely, my fingers) in a moment of anger.  I don’t always remember to check my sources, and I’m actually pretty lousy at assuming positive intent in difficult conversations.  Hell, sometimes I can’t even summon the courage just to smile at strangers.  Sometimes even a frickin’ smile, a 16-muscle acknowledgement of shared humanity, feels like too much effort to offer the world.

I can’t be the person I wish I were.  I’ve tried.  But I can’t.

Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like the “good guys” were profoundly outnumbered overpowered.  Students and colleagues and acquaintances that I know to be optimistic, hard-working people with good hearts and souls, struggled to peer out through a kind of sadness, of fatigue.  Snarky half-attempts at humor were delivered through lips-only smiles, while eyes pleaded for encouragement, for comfort, for strength.

At least, I know that’s why my eyes were pleading for.

I lay in bed last night for hours, staring at the ceiling and wondering how in the name of anything I could make a difference—how I could resist the oppressors, how I could be an ally to the oppressed in more than name and token.  But most of all I lay there feeling guilty because I. am. just. so. damn. tired.

It doesn’t seem fair—and to my friends in minority communities, this paragraph of privileged whining may be one you want to skip over—that nice guys seem indeed to finish last.  It doesn’t seem fair that playground bullies seem always to know when the teacher isn’t looking.  It doesn’t seem fair that hoarding power seems so much more effective than sharing it.  It doesn’t seem fair that privilege is blind and love speaks softly and the high road always seems to have way more detours than the low.

I lay there last night wanting to weep, but too tired even to do that, feeling useless and helpless and ashamed of my apparent inability to use my vast privilege for anything other than self-pity.

But this morning, with the rising sun struggling to break through the Pennsylvania fog and the finches calling blindly to one another in the January air, I had an epiphany of sorts.

A prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi asks:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

I love that prayer.  But this morning I realized that there’s something missing from Francis’s list.  So as of today, I pledge:

Where there is fear, I will sow gratitude.

Because while fear paralyzes, gratitude empowers.  While fear excludes, gratitude invites.  While fear clutches, gratitude opens.  And while fear shouts, gratitude whispers.

So I will whisper gratitude.  To one person at a time, one appreciative moment at a time, I will use thanksgiving to drive out fear.  I will do so because it helps me to tear my eyes away from the violently fearful place the world is becoming, and focus on the world I believe is worth saving.  I will do it because hearing words of gratitude can make the difference between a sleepless night of self-pity, and a cared-for soul that is ready to speak truth to power.

There is so much to be grateful for.  And while I can’t always live by my best lights, I can be grateful for the times I do. And more importantly, I can be grateful for the people in my life who remind me of what those best lights are, and how love really does work in the world.  May our gratitude ripple outward and fuel the work that lies ahead.