Thank you to my new CCM community from the bottom of my heart.
Tonight I experienced the most extraordinary night in my career in the theatre due to the love and spirit of Rocco and the CCM community. We felt the news like a shock wave which did not have time to settle before our evening's production of Hamlet. We gathered in the make up room to hold each other while wigs were still being placed. There was not enough time to process before all too famous lines might now resonate past endurance..."good night sweet prince", "remember me", "now cracks a noble heart" "the readiness is all...." and some crueller passages to come. We did not feel ready. It was too soon. It was that fresh time when to breathe too deeply brings only sobs. And to speak a three hour Shakespearean tragedy...well. But they resolved to try to fulfill what Rocco might have wished for the play -- to make it not about a death, but about his impeccable dedication to life and the theatre; the legacy of a man whose talent and care lifted us all. It was not a fair request, but when I left them to take my seat, they were shaken and bracing as they came up to places. Thanks to the CCM community, they were not alone. They were lifted by the cast of Suessical, who fled to their sides instead of to their own rehearsal; and by Robin and Emma from Opera, Vince and Amy DeGeorge, Jenny Jones from sabbatical, Darcy Smith who'd been with Rocco hours before, and heart broken wishes from our missing Richard Hess...and of course, Rocco's spirit from high house right where he and Denise had sat for final dress two days before.. An extraordinary night, when actors tipping too close to grief again and again, were pulled back by a palpable surge of love and communion with an audience who bouyed them up. Rocco's spirit through and through. "We shall not see his like again"
University of Cincinnati