Paul designed and painted this set for “Such a Time as This,” the story of Esther.
When I was directing my children’s theater and wanted to be sure that the background for my actors enhanced their acting abilities, I called on the one man I knew who could fill the bill -my husband, Paul. Over our 53 year marriage, we’ve become quite a team. I guess you could even call us the dynamic duo at times. However this has not always been as easy as it seems.
Being a visual sort of fellow, his vision often overshadows my analytical side and that sometimes leads to conflict. He’s learned over time that I need to see what’s going to happen so I can plan staging around it. I’ve learned that he needs to know what I have planned before he can concept an idea. Until we get our act together, there are bound to be a few discussions.
When we began using drama as an outreach tool, the first play was a musical adaptation of the story of Esther. I was put in touch with a young musician who put my lyrics to music. I’d never met the woman, but we collaborated over the internet and came up with a number of songs to add to the performance. As each song came back to me, I’d weep a little as if seeing some dream fulfilled.
With each costume made, from harem girls to Bible characters, Mr. & Mrs. Haman and King Xerxes and his first wife the story was beginning to come tolife. However I had no idea what the set would bring. Paul crafted another work of art which depicted the city of Babylon and the outlandish gods worshipped there. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, it helped tremendously to move the story forward.
Paul has a vision that transcends normal thinking. His versatility as an artist spans many areas. When doing a version of “Pinnochio, the set included the Jolly Roger along with the intimidating crocodile peeking out of the ocean. When I needed pirate props he carved wooden swords and flint lock pistols. When we did “Robin Hood,” I knew I could call on him to create a lyre out of a large gourd – a target complete with an arrow within an arrow and many more interesting props.
His years of coming up with ideas for others through his work in the ad business, has expanded over many different avenues. Even now, he continues to teach his craft to others, makes art, has a great passion for everything he does and lives every moment to the max. How did I get so lucky?