Titania is the still point of a turning circle

Today is a day that I was pretty sure was coming, I just didn’t really want to think about it.

If you saw our Midsummer, then you undoubtedly remember our Titania. Tall, anime-white hair, stately. When we were casting that show, before I ever saw her, I told Thomas and Alyssa that I wanted someone who embodied a French Art Nouveau light post. And then, like everyone who comes to us, she came to us out of nowhere. Our Fairy Queen.

Sara was from the beginning both beautiful and stubborn, a gorgeous, willful person among a 24 others that were just the same to varying degrees. This is, after all, theater.

Sara was honest with the three of us from the beginning – she told us she’d had breast cancer, and that she was still undergoing some treatment. She was coughing. She might not always feel great. But she wanted to do the role, if we wanted to give it to her. And, good gravy, did we want to give the role to her.

Between the three of us, Thomas, Alyssa, and I resolved that the only thing to do was to treat Sara as she wished to be treated – as an actor – and to allow her to tell the cast when she wished about her condition, on her own terms. In the end I really have no idea how many people knew about the cancer.

Sara walked the stage with us for six nights and one matinee of Midsummer, and every night was gorgeous magic. We loved that cast.

We have known for some time that Sara was unwell – more than unwell – but have just learned in the last couple days that her illness has progressed to terminal. I mostly do not know what to do with that information – it seems alien and weird. I’ve always been aware that her illness was aggressive and on some level I am not surprised. That doesn’t stop it from being a punch in the gut.

Stay strong, beautiful spirit, our Fairy Queen.

2 Responses to “Titania is the still point of a turning circle”

  1. Rusty Says:

    When I first saw her, she instantly stood out to me. Not just that she’s beautiful (which she is), but her presence. Her personality and demeanor demanded attention. She was special.

    Cancer terrifies me like not much else does. I’ve watched it turn my 300-pound former football player grandfather into a 150-pound ghost. And I’ve watched it take Amber’s dad quickly and brutally.

    I don’t know her, and have never exchanged a word or a glance with her, but it makes me sick to my stomach to hear this.

  2. Sally Parrott Ashbrook Says:

    That is like a punch. I’m so sorry to hear it. I can’t imagine how this must be for Sara and her friends and family.

Leave a Reply