the French will die for love


The fall play premieres tonight. My Kit is the lovely and fully realized Hermia. I wander around backstage camouflaged by my camera—the actors let me get close. They have been transformed from the teenagers raiding my refrigerator over the lunch hour into thespians.

All of Kit’s friends are theatre kids—dramatic but not drama queens. They sing show tunes; they quote Mamet; they insult in Shakespearean English; they play out whole scenes from dozens of movies. They skip sporting events. They’re serious and hilarious and imaginative and passionate about everything.

During last night’s dress rehearsal, I walked by the costume room where a heated debate was in full session. I overheard someone close to tears insisting, “But the French will die for love!” I stood very still, quietly and reverently . . . a Unicorn walked right past me.

© Liana 11/14


Still James

His new play, The Widow Lincoln, will premiere in January at Fords Theatre in Washington, DC. In very tony theatre circles, James will then be even more famous than his three Pulitzer Prize nominations already attest. In the Playbill, this headshot will not be featured. To my great regret, James does not like it; but then he never likes any photo taken of him, he tells me self-consciously. He’s about words, not pictures, he explains. James is a brilliant, kind, sensitive man who doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. Conciliatory, he assures me that he really loves the photo I took of his father. Actually, that was an honest, feeling portrait but, admittedly, I was too star-struck to take an equivalent picture of James. The level of celebrity where I dwell is more often “People Who Know Peter Coyote.”

Still, James Still, I am proud of this portrait, and of everything you have become against such odds. On my feet, rising . . . BRAVO.