So, Friday morning Chris and I set out bright and early. We landed in
We arrived on campus about 1:00 or so and found parking surprisingly quickly. There’s a whole lot of construction going on, so I imagine many people don’t go the way that I went since the road dead-ends.
After chatting with Ann for a while I showed Chris around the rest of the building- prop room, trap room, green room, dressing rooms, scene shop, and the stage. We also ran into Alan, the set professor while going on this tour, which was good because he let us into the studio theatre which had been locked.
One thing that struck me was that all of the faculty remembered my name. I still keep in touch with Ann, but she’s the only one. Did she tell other people that I was coming or is it common for faculty to remember the names of their students 8 years later? Maybe this is just a benefit of having gone to a small school- there is that close connection.
After showing Chris most of the VUCA we went and did a mini tour around campus. Unfortunately Friday was a cold and dreary day. It was misting a bit and wasn’t the most pleasant out. We went to the
Saturday morning came and the sun was shining! A gorgeous day. We started off by heading back to campus to get a few more pictures. We also went back to the union and grabbed some breakfast. While we were eating we wondered what people thought of us. Did we look like students or have we gotten too old?
After campus we headed off to
As we were circling the block to park at the hotel we saw this mailbox. Isn’t it awesome?! After checking in he had to go and take a picture. (And now that I went to the
Millennium Park, not surprisingly, was built for the new millennium. I had picked up a guide book that suggested walking through it and taking a self portrait at the Bean. However, it gave no further information of what “the Bean” was. Well, when I saw it I immediately understood. As you can see, we did, in fact, take a self-portrait (or 5).
Next on the agenda was Navy Pier. Unfortunately by this point we were getting rather tired as we had been doing lots of walking all day and it was a warm day. So we didn’t check out Navy Pier as much as we might otherwise have done, but we did ride the Ferris Wheel and I took some skyline pictures. We did a little more walking around, but then we decided it was time to head back to the hotel. We decided to take a cab. Too much walking for us! After a brief stop at the hotel to wash off a layer of sweat we jumped in the car and headed up to
A number of people who I went to college with founded the Piccolo Theatre. My friend Zac had directed Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (based on characters from Hamlet), and my friends Debbie, David, and Denita were in the cast. I had told Debbie and Zac that I was coming, but I’m not sure if that had spread the word along or not.
So we park the car and are trying to find the theatre. I saw the street number on the side of the building, so we start walking down the street. There’s a group of people outside. I comment that I knew the guy standing up scratching his face. Chris says, “yeah, but does he know you?” As soon as he said that David waved to me. “Yup, he knows me.” Hugs ensued, but then the cast had to go get warmed up and into costumes. I asked for a dinner recommendation and then Chris and I took off.
David had suggested a place down the street called Lucky Platter. It was a cute place full of fun sculptures like this guy, and the lights were made from colanders. After dinner it was time to head back to the theatre.
Such a cute place! It’s in a renovated train depot. The stage took up most of the space, but there was a ring of maybe 50 seats around the outside- a very intimate space. Unfortunately, because of this intimacy, it was very evident when people left at intermission. Everyone did a great job with the show, and even Chris was impressed with what they did with the set. (There was a platform in the middle that turned around and also wobbled like a teeter-totter.) At one point there were lights on from underneath the platform and Chris leaned over in his seat to try to get a better look at the under-workings. And the cutest thing about the show… as Debbie was leaving after the bows she winked at me. Very fun, especially since she had been so good about not breaking character to acknowledge me during the show. It gave me warm fuzzies.
So after the show we headed towards the entrance and there was Zac waiting for me. Yay- hugs all around. Debbie came out shortly after and I sang one of my songs to her (“We love you Debbie, oh yes we do” a la Bye Bye Birdie). She had to say hi to her parents who had also come to the show, but then came back in shortly after. And shortly we had a mini Valpo reunion in the theatre lobby- with representation from multiple classes, 1999-2002.) David and Denita had other plans, so Zac, Debbie, Chris and I headed off for some drinks and conversation.
It was so great to be able to catch up with them. Unfortunately, and I’m kicking myself for this, I didn’t get any pictures of them. Bad me. Anyway, I am just so proud of them. They are living their theatre dreams. Especially Zac. He quit his job so that he can devote himself to theatre. I also learned something about Chris’ perception of me. I was talking about what I was up to, and Chris mentioned that I’m happy at my current job, but that for a few years before that I wasn’t happy. Hmmm…. He couldn’t have mentioned this to me before?
Sunday morning (after not enough sleep) we checked out and then booked ourselves onto an Architectural Boat tour of the city. Again, perfect weather for being outside! Here’s just one photo of the 50+ that I took on the boat. After the tour we headed back towards the hotel/car, ate some lunch, and then headed off to the airport. We got there very early, but there really hadn’t been much time to do anything else in the city.