I made a promise to myself some years back that I would never ever never have to watch the play Oklahoma! again after seeing the umpty-umpth high school production with some much-loved child of a much-loved friend in a pivotal role. But here I am again, preparing to attend our city’s professional theater‘s production tonight. Why, I ask myself. Perhaps “I’m just a girl who can’t say no.” And if you’ve seen Oklahoma! as many times as I, you will get the joke there.
But I’ve been pondering this newest production. It will be unlike any other Oklahoma! I’ve seen because it will be informed by the director with his own take, and he’s chosen to cast it with an all-African American cast. He did his research: there was a group of African Americans who homesteaded in OK back in the day, and he’s hopeful to make that part of the story.
What I’ve also been pondering is that like this play will be New/Old, it also reflects much of what we’re all trying to accomplish with our New/Old ways of communicating and building relationships. I speak here of Twitter. So, so many people have said to me (and particularly 20-somethings with great distain) that Twitter is SUCH a waste of time. Why do I care about what you had for breakfast. True. True.
But remember the party lines? If you do, you’re old enough to remember sneakily picking up the receiver to listen in on another conversation. If it wasn’t interesting, or if it was Mrs. Petty who never did anything titillating, you just softly replaced the receiver. But if it was one of the Gilstead girls, well, that was a different matter. You hung on every word, so to speak.
Twitter is like that. You find the Gilsteads not the Pettys. You listen to those who have something to teach you. And you learn something new. Find something new. Pass on something new.
So, tonight, I’ll settle into my seat and like always, I know I’ll be transported in this production to an old time, but with a new feeling. I’m all atwitter.