Stage East’s Life in Washington County, an EAC focal point through June and July, was a digital collaboration organized by EAC and Stage East Island Fellow Mark Macey. “Participants played what was essentially a giant game of telephone,” said Macey. “[They] only saw the piece before theirs in each series leaving space for happy accidents.” Macey guided the participants through the sometimes-challenging waters of digital collaboration, and edited the resulting videos. “I was so impressed by participants’ creative choices and felt that everyone bought into the project in a way that’s pretty rare,” he commented “These will be such a wonderful tribute to our community’s creativity, positivity, and connectivity during this pandemic.”
“Watching for the first time the Life in Washington County video using my poem Grackles was quite moving,” wrote Lora Whelan, a participant in the project. “When I turned the poem over to Mark, it was like sitting in a beautiful room, having the lights turned off and knowing that everything around me would change and yet remain the same. I waited and wondered and then the lights went on and I was looking at the same room through a kaleidoscope of acting, musical composition, visual art and film editing to create a deeper world of reflections and refractions. All the works in the series are gems. It’s been exciting to see the possibilities and rewards of this kind of collaboration.”
“What a lovely surprise to find the ways that Mark was able to facilitate our collective voices coming together,” noted Anne Shields Hopkins, another participant who has been enjoying the phases of the project. “It was OK,” was the final word, from Cecilia Hopkins, the project’s youngest contributor (age 10).