53rd in a series of posts on Touchstone Theatre
There was lots and lots of entertainment during the 10 days of Touchstone Theatre’s “Festival UnBound,” which closed last Sunday night. There were plays, there were poets, there was a marching band, there was joyful noise.
But there was also lots and lots of conversation on the future of Bethlehem.
Even the entertainment was that conversation in a sense.
But there were formal conversations.
Conversations at lunch at the Cafe the Lodge, late night conversations at the Cabaret, and several panel conversations.
It was the panels on which the Gadfly focused (deftly avoiding ending with a preposition): the panel after “Prometheus / Redux,” after the “The Secret,” and after “Poets, Troubadours, and Troublemakers.”
Gadfly, you know, lives to enable us to hear our real voices — our public participation — without filter.
So yesterday Gadfly laid out for you the panel of 8 women moderated by Jennie Gilrain tied to the H. D. play “The Secret.” Today let’s lay out the panel after “Prometheus / Redux.” Tomorrow perhaps we’ll do the one after “Poets, Troubadours, and Troublemakers.”
Gadfly’s purpose will first be to simply present the panels, to enable you to “attend” them or attend them again, to provide — you know this is Gadfly’s modus operandi — the primary sources on which to base your own responses (there’s that grammatical deftness again) before he makes comment.
The “Prometheus / Redux” panel was moderated by Councilman Willie Reynolds.
Here Willie describes the general purpose of the 10-person panel to discuss “how we move forward as people committed to building a better Bethlehem,” and the panel members do short introductions: Gerald Stropnicky, Bob Drake, Matthew Turk, Bob George, Alicia Miller Karner, Dave Amelio, Olga Negron, Guellermo Lopez, Jr.
Willie kicks off the discussion by asking the panel “what was that thing you saw today [at the “Prometheus / Redux” play] that going forward — it could be an idea, a theme, it could be a spirit — that kinda going forward that you think is the most important thing for our community.”
Touchstone Theatre wizard and star of “Prometheus / Redux” Bill George took the mic for a few minutes to articulate in impromptu fashion what Gadfly posted earlier as a good, concise statement of the theme of the Festival — constructing “a sense of ‘we’ that we have never accomplished before” — and turns to the panel with the question “How are we going to get to where we need to go? . . . What do we need to do?”
Audience member Margot Pullman provocatively adds to Bill’s question: “As we’re looking at progress, making progress, how do we do that in a way that includes the whole community without leaving people behind. It’s really easy to build the luxury apartments . . . how do we do that [make progress] without leaving Prometheus behind, all the Prometheuses?”
The above video cuts off the last 2-3 panelist responses to Bill and Margot, so here is the audio that completes this segment of the discussion.
Moderator Willie and an audience member who did not give her name followed this segment of the discussion with valuable comments.
And a woman who identified herself as “we are the Schutese” [pronounced Shooteze] from Allentown made another valuable comment that we will surely want to come back to.
Willie brings discussion to a close asking the panel “in the spirit of what we just did, what is the soft work that each one of you guys is going to leave here to do a little more or what’s the kind of self-reflection that you guys might leave here thinking the play made me think a little bit more of doing this or this is what I’m going to take on as my responsibility?”
There you have the Prometheus panel. Listen in. Lots to chew on here . . .
Closed but never forgotten