Center Stage salutes Irene Lewis after opening night of 'The Homecoming'
The opening night audience for Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" Wednesday night at Center Stage was invited to stay put after the house lights came on.
Cast member Larry O'Dwyer then came out to start a tribute to the company's artistic director, Irene Lewis.
Although she will see this season through, the Pinter play is her last directing assignment of her two-decade tenure.
O'Dwyer singled out many qualities that he admired in Lewis, including "her insanity, with a tendency to anarchy." It was a warm-hearted, charming speech, concluding with Puck's curtain speech from "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Lewis then took a spot in front of the stage, standing next to a
large vase that was brought out (at first, I thought it was a big old urn -- maybe a dark touch to reflect the Pinter work, or the feelings of those sad to see Lewis go).
A procession that included current and past performers and staffers started from the back steps of the house; each person was bearing a single white rose. They presented Lewis with the flowers, slowly filling the vase as a voice-over listed all the productions she directed for the company.
Even folks long dismissive of Lewis and her work here must have been at least a little impressed by the gesture of her admirers.
SUN STAFF PHOTO (by Karl Merton Ferron) ON THE SET OF 'THE HOMECOMING' DURING A REHEARSAL BREAK