Remember last March?
On March 12 of 2020, Knowledge Workings Theater had scheduled auditions at the studios of Alliance of Resident Theaters in Manhattan for a staged reading of Grudges. Joe Queenan and I exulted at the prospect of hearing many talented actors read our work in the second of our ‘problem comedies’. (Our first was Alms, which as an Equity Showcase off-Broadway at TheaterLab, enjoyed a sold-out run in May 2019) We were ready to start the collaborative journey to get our new play upon the stage by early summer. We were psyched
You should have no difficulty guessing what happened.
Grudges did make it out to the world via Zoom as that staged reading in May and subsequently as a full production live but digital last July. Our company also managed in November a staged reading of George WS Trow’s seminal 1980 essay Within the Context of No Context on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its publication in the New Yorker. Then in December, we had a rollicking good time debuting to delighted audiences Keeping Right, the mostly phony Swedish screwball comedy. Obviously, that play had to be performed on Zoom as well, but it helped us live up to our motto #maketheaterlive.
But before we did any of these productions, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day virtually by getting friends and acquaintances to sing and recite pieces that evoked the warmth and fun and lyricism of that day. The Elliotts have hosted St. Patrick’s Day parties for well over three decades starting with a kind of seisun in Irene Elliott’s one-room apartment on W. 10th St. right next to the Sixth Precinct in 1987. Knowledge Workings Theater couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day move by silently.
Those 27 videos from last year are still up for viewing on our YouTube channel here and we decided to repeat the experience this year only grander and gaudier. We hope never to repeat the experience of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day online for the rest of our lives, but as Spring approaches and many of us think that we can make out the outlines of that proverbial corner that we all hope to be turning celebration seems an apt activity.
How will this virtual Saint Patrick’s Day fest work?
- You don’t have to be a professional singer; just listen to the guy in the video to the left for verification of that statement
- Videotape yourself and/or others singing a St. Patrick’s Day song or reciting an Irish poem. (You don’t have to be on screen if that makes you uncomfortable; you can have the camera looking out the window or some other image.)
- Just send us one video, please. We want to involve as many people as possible and there are only so many hours in St. Patrick’s Day.
- Need inspiration for a song? https://www.irishmusicdaily.com/top-20-st-patricks-day-songs Another collection of lyrics is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WhBPtUwxZDbhfXqIc061otjYJcYsw_Ge/view?usp=sharing
- And Irish poems? WB Yeats put a collection of good old stuff here Poetry.com offers a wide sample at this search link We recommend Heaney, Kavanagh, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Eavan Boland, and, of course, Paul Muldoon.
- Post it to Facebook or YouTube. Or save it to Google drive using the hashtag below
- Email Knowledge Workings with the link to your video
- We will post it on this YouTube channel so that they are all in one place
Oh, and that hashtag…Nowadays everything virtual has to have a hashtag and I’m proposing #virtualpaddysongs for this campaign. Again.
By now, some of you may be asking what’s the catch? There must be a price tag to participate. Not at all. We just crave your company for the celebration.
However… If you’re looking for a good cause on this day of Celtic heritage make a donation of whatever amount to Irish Rep. Buy a ticket to one of their online shows, drop a few bucks in their general fund, or donate to the capital fund for the refurbishment of their 22nd Street stages where we all hope to be very soon again sharing the superb dramas and comedies they produce. Their work during the last year entertained and edified so many of us. Our own motto is #maketheaterlive and Irish Rep did that splendidly. (We have no connection to Irish Rep whatsoever; we don’t even know the good folks except by their work. We just think it’s a good thing to give them money on St. Patrick’s Day.)
Questions? Just email Knowledge Workings and we’ll get right back to you.
See you in the ether! Slainte!