The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Linda McInerney

Linda McInerney is a graduate of Middlebury College with a double major in Theater and French, and a student at the National Shakespeare Company Conservatory and also with Mira Rostova, Ms. McInerney has been a member of Actors Equity since 1983. She has worked for over twenty years as an actor, singer, director, and producer in New York and throughout New England, with credits including Circle Repertory Company and ABC's All My Children. She earned an MFA in Directing from UMass and is Artistic Director of Old Deerfield Productions. Ms. McInerney has also taught theater at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield Elementary School, Eaglebrook School, and UMass. She lives in Deerfield with her husband, Chris, and her sons, Mark and Matt.

We Are All Racist: Using Storytelling to Overcome Implicit Bias

blind-spot

How can we respond to the recent increase in racism? One way could be to acknowledge our shared implicit bias, then tell stories to help overcome it.

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Layered Time and the Force of Gravity in Frankenstein

Lindel Hart and Linda McInerney have been collaborating for two years on an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In the first year, they researched, imagined, and Lindel wrote. They spent endless hours on Linda’s couch dreaming out how the show might be put together; which characters, scenes, themes, and ideas were right for the stage and important for the story in this time. Over the months a play emerged. They recently offered a development performance of the first version of the play in Greenfield.

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Johnny Got His Gun: Thoughts on Art, War, and Community

Arts writer Phillipa Pitts recently contributed a blog column that resonated with me; here’s an excerpt: Art plays many roles in society and, at different times, can speak to issues in areas such as religion, science, politics, and history. Whether introducing an international form of movement to the dance scene, putting a modern spin on Mozart or Bach, or providing a visual interpretation of the effects of war, the arts can provide thought-provoking commentary and innovative perspectives on a vast array of global ideas.

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Double Take Fringe Festival and Reclaimed Spaces

These days we hear a lot of talk out there about “place making” and “creative economies.” So what exactly is “place making?” I didn’t know either, though when I saw it happening I recognized it as deeply important and knew I wanted to jump in. The recognition happened at the Brick and Mortar Festival in downtown Greenfield, MA two years ago. Brick and Mortar is an event that opens the doors of vacant buildings and fills them with video installations that have been beautifully curated.

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Yes and

It struck me as I was standing on the lip of the stage at the opening of TRUTH, the new folk opera about Sojourner Truth that we commissioned two years ago. There was a collective joy that all 841 of us felt as we recognized each other as creative collaborators. The boisterous applause said, “Look what we did together!” It was a revelation that has been with me since.

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On TRUTH and Risks

Isn’t it risky? How do you dare? Where will you get the money? Aren’t you afraid of criticism? Don’t you know you are white? Who do you think you are? These are some of the questions that arise when people hear about our new project, TRUTH, a new folk opera about the life of Sojourner Truth. The short answer is that it needs to be done. Of course there are many long answers. And honestly, I don’t feel afraid. Isn’t any form of bridge building worthwhile?

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Having Sisters to Dream With

The idea to create a new folk opera about the life of Sojourner Truth came in a dream. It was short, just an image really, of composer and dear friend, Paula Kimper and me sitting in the Academy of Music in Northampton and we overwhelmed with joy. We were listening to the great singer, Evelyn Harris pick up her musical cue as she took in a deep breath. It was a little surprising, as I had only seen Evelyn in concerts and never as a character onstage.

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Making Invitation: On Bringing an American Opera to Macedonia

Synchronicity is astonishing. I could never have dreamed that our new opera, The Captivation of Eunice Williams (Paula M. Kimper, composer, Harley Erdman, librettist) would be chosen to be presented in Macedonia. Where exactly is Macedonia? Sort of near Greece, right? And yet, there I was on a plane to Skopje. The subject of the opera made it an even more unlikely candidate for this trip to Eastern Europe.

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