Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mark Chamberlin: World Class Theatre Artist - Just Wrought:

Just recently Mark read something of mine which was part of a quarterly public evening of prose pieces written for performance. A week or so ago I was asked to submit another piece for the next quarter’s offering. I began crafting it with Mark’s voice in mind. This is just a habit I have. I start to shape words for a particular actor’s mouth whether or not I know they will be ultimately speaking them. It helps me hear the music. I have worked on the piece since learning of Mark’s death, and I am still, sadly, writing it with him in mind.

And that brings me to what actors like Mark Chamberlin do for theatre. Beyond making plays possible by being in them, great actors make new plays conceivable by being the living suction that draws the words and stories out of the playwrights who know their talent. Mark was one of my many muses who live, and yes, die in this city. This is my selfish understanding of Mark’s inestimable loss. Muses are hard to come by. And while I have many here in Seattle, the loss of one so generous and so fine leaves me shaken and humbled and, also, strangely somehow more determined to carry on. After all, I believe that is what Mark would do.