a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, March 4, 2017


The best part was the conversation afterward. The entire audience was invited to the main floor for discussion post-performance. You know a play is powerful when it bears conversation prior to exiting the theater.

Steppenwolf's stage adaption of Monster by Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old African American male who is on trial for his alleged role in a robbery that resulted in murder. The audience (like the reader of the original novel) is left to decide for themselves what the truth is. 

The power of the story really lies in Steve's coming of age exploration of who he is and who he wants to be after the prosecution refers to him as a "monster." 

The book is told in the format of a screenplay, as Steve is a budding filmmaker. On stage, this meant the suggestion of a camera was used to add another lens through which Steve viewed himself and his world. In the post-performance conversation, one audience member even referred to the camera as an additional character in the story. 

Not only did I develop a much deeper appreciation of Myers's story, I also experienced firsthand the power of time and conversation with peers to nudge further analysis. 


  1. Most of the time we go to see a play and that's it. You are right that a conversation that happens after the play can add a lot to it. It's great that you had this experience this week.

  2. Wow! What an experience that must have been!

  3. Sounds like the experience will linger in your heart and mind. Powerful!

  4. A unique and powerful experience. A book I need to read.

  5. This is a wonderful experience that I am sure you will talk about for weeks.