Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lynn Kable, The real Belle of Amherst!

 Lynn Kable with Amal
When Lynn Kable lived in New York City, she was a force to contend with.  More than a force, in fact.  As an arts administrator and producer, she conceived and created programs throughout the city, in homeless shelters, libraries, museums and professional theater venues from Broadway (when she worked for Merrick) to downtown La MaMa Experimental Theater Company and spaces between. Overseas, she worked on a number of landmark projects in East Central Europe (Macedonia, Poland,  etc), Central Asia (Uzbekistan) and more. 

This year, 2013, marks the 10th year that Lynn has lived and worked in Virginia, just south of historic Charlottesville and north of the seven hills of Lynchburg.   For most of these years, she has slowly been working towards the reputation of bringing to the public a wide range of diverse and professional music, theater and outreach engagement projects.   She formed her own non-profit organization in 2006, Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR) [see: http://www.amherstglebeartsresponse.org/  for the purpose of finding funding and community support for these public programs.  Some of the events take place in nearby historic churches and venues; from Amherst High School to St. Mark’s Church, and most recently a play performed for two weekends in the Parlor Room of her own landmarked home, The Glebe. 
What can I say about working with Lynn? For those who know her and have had the privileged opportunity to work with her, you know what I mean.  Lynn has an unfathomable energy to see through any obstacle and bring out the best in everyone she works with.  Her demands are large, so you cannot go into a project half-heartedly; but most often her enthusiasm prevails and we find ourselves working harder than ever to be part of her dreams. 
For 18 days in November, I was a more than willing witness and participant in the creation of The Belle of Amherst, a play that Lynn envisioned in her home the first day she saw the front Parlor. (In fact, I suspect that being able to have this play performed in her house was one of the reasons she and her husband Ned bought The Glebe.)  see: http://www.amherstcountymuseum.org/tour1957.html#glebe. We rehearsed and presented the play for six performances.  The Parlor seating for the audience was limited to 24 maximum each day, and Lynn managed to bring in audiences that ranged in age from 12 to 90 years old!  What a delight to perform in that historic room.  Sally Parrish Southall, who portrayed Emily Dickinson in the play, brought her own special profound energy to the show and the space.  As we gathered furniture from all of the rooms in Lynn’s home to the Parlor, we saw the creation of our 19th century setting appear before our eyes.  Maxim Tumenev, my partner in gardening and theater, helped the vision of the play come to fruition; and helped carry sofas tables and chairs into the parlor!

What else can I say about Lynn?  Years ago, when Lynn lived in New York I tried, with no success, to persuade the BESSIE committee to award her a producer extraordinaire award.   At this point, I feel that Award would not even come close to the level of recognition that she deserves.  Lynn Kable is simply one of a kind and describing her is a challenge and a joy.  She is, without reservation, a fiercely moral individual, who sings in choirs, holds together a major household in a landmark home, the mother of three amazing young professional women, and one of the best event producers worldwide.  AGAR is her vehicle for bringing arts, education, healthcare and related programs to the lucky audiences of Amherst, Virginia, and beyond.  Lynn is fearless, and I am one of the lucky ones – to be encouraged and supported by her energy and love.

Lynn Kable – this is for you.  Bravo! Standing Ovation!  Please continue to do what you do.  This is my award to you.  I offer you devotion and love; for I had the fortune to have worked side by side with you for 8 years in New York City in the 1990s; and 18 days in Virginia this November.  Lynn- you made it happen and I shall be forever grateful for the experience.  Looking forward to more!

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