Who Says This Is A One-Woman Show? (Part 3)

1billion

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

I’ve borrowed this image from Facebook, where it was being used to honor today’s global day of action, One Billion Rising. Check their site to see live footage of events happening all over the planet, calling for an end to violence against girls and women.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what people can do when they combine strength. I have been humbled by the dozens of donors who, in the past three weeks, have contributed to my online fundraising campaign, putting their strength behind the DVD production of my supposed “solo show,” Piecework: When We Were French. All actors rely on others to make their work possible: lighting and sound technicians, producers and directors, and of course, audiences. But this reliance is double for an actor in a “solo show,” particularly one like mine, that has been on the road, before audiences for three years.

Since my fundraising campaign began, I’ve been posting here on topics related to the show, including some of the people and organizations who have contributed to the play’s success, among them, the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region.

The Alliance was instrumental in supporting the Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration, for which my show was originally commissioned, and they have gone on to sponsor subsequent performances, including those coming up in March. Their work is focused on encouraging francophone culture in Vermont through language classes for children and adults, French conversation groups, an on-going film series, and other events. They have also spearheaded, in recent years, an important effort to make downtown Burlington more accessible to francophone visitors, partnering with the city to offer language training to merchants and their employees.

While such activities often emphasize French as a “foreign” language and have usually been pitched to the public as profit-motivated, designed to attract French-speaking visitors and their dollars from Quebec and elsewhere, it’s interesting to me that Franco-American Vermonters have led the way. Some members of the Alliance may be old enough to remember when French was not welcomed on the streets of Burlington. I would be interested to know how much that memory has inspired some of these initiatives. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to ask them in March, when the AFLCR sponsors four performances of Piecework: When We Were French at Montpelier’s Lost Nation Theater.

The Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region is among a growing circle of friends and supporters of Piecework. Won’t you join us by donating now to our on-line fundraising campaign?

Just a quick reminder: yesterday’s donor incentive still stands, but only five books remain!

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