Spring has blossomed. Pollen has rendered any outdoor activity impossible and so, for now, I am trying to focus mainly on indoor activities.
Last Saturday, for example, I attended a really wonderful production of Lost Nation Theater’s Ransom at the Montpelier City Hall Theater. Even though the pollen count finally caught up with me I was delighted with everything about this Broadway-worthy production. Despite my intermittent sneezing and snuffling (which I like to think provided added echoes of the Civil War battlefields that formed part of the through-narrative of the work), the 20-or-so performers brought to life the letters of Ransom Towle, a native of West Roxbury, Vt. Serving as an officer in the Army of the Potomac through some of the most difficult years of the Civil War, Towle was wounded, recovered, and eventually lost his life during the Peninsula Campaign.
In a few months we will note in passing that 150 years ago more than 50,000 young men lost their lives during the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. Those kinds of statistics tend to numb us to the reality of what that must have been like--not only for those who lived in or near Gettysburg itself, but those whose families bore the brunt of the outcome. Ransom did an amazing job of bringing that reality into the present day and forcing us to confront the nature of man and his conflicts.
Bravo, Lost Nation Theater! The summer arts season is off to a fantastic start...