On Mother's Day today I think it is fitting to revisit these concrete steps that are so familiar to me and my brother and sister.
In 1960 My mother Sally was one of 3 people who founded the Occidental College Summer Drama Festival. Every summer until we were adults, my whole family would be part of this amazing community theater, producing between 4-6 plays ranging from the classics of Shakespeare and Shaw to American Musicals. The first few years were produced on the steps in front of Thorne Hall, then the Festival moved to the Remsen Bird Hillside Theater, a concrete reproduction of the classic greek amphitheater.
For as far back as I can remember, my summers were spent running up and down these stairs, hiding back stage or playing in the costume and property rooms. Many warm summer nights I would fall asleep on these steps, listening to rehearsals of Gilbert and Sullivan and feeling the warmth of the summer sun still radiate from the concrete. As we grew older my siblings and I started to work back stage and appear onstage in small roles. We all took what we learned at Summer Theater and found satisfying careers in theater and filmmaking for many years!
Thanks to my mom for such a unique and wonderful childhood!