Fall in Love Again

When you choose to fall in love again, love again

And all the stars and planets are aligned within

Your tender heart will gently open, open

Soft at first, then with the strength of violins.

– Serenity Fisher, Sophie’s Dream

It’s 9:30am on a Saturday morning. I rub my eyes like a baby who has just woken up from a nap. Normally, the sun outside the window and the prospect of being inside all day would send me crawling back underneath the covers, moaning for the alarm clock to stop whining at me to get out of bed. But this was no normal Saturday and this certainly was no normal reason to be sitting in CCM all day.

I shot from my bed, changed into the best clothes I had for a cool spring day and ran to CCM. All of this may seem like a hyperbole to you, considering the last time I actually shot out of bed for something was to get Starbucks before class rather than after. However, the first full read through for Sophie’s Dream was today and every fiber of my being reinforced what was going through my head: sheer excitement. Sophie’s Dream is the Fringe Festival show in Cincinnati I am working on this spring and it is that show that I swear is saving me.

Normally, love stories and happy endings and all of that scare me to death (aside from The Princess and the Frog). But this one is that love story that makes you believe in love and introduces you to this wonderful sense of self that this culture tends to overlook. And to top it all off, this show came at the precisely right moment in my life. At a time when I started believing that I was nothing worth looking at or after and when I was doubting my creative self, I needed something fun and wonderful and musical and inspiring to hold on to. This show is that, all wrapped up in a warm fuzzy blanket with an Eddie Bear on top.

The show is about Sophie, a writer, who has lost confidence in herself and rediscovers it in her dreams through the help of three Tree Muses, Olive, Willow and Laurel, who represent Sophie in the past, the present and the future. Perhaps the most beautiful part of this process to me thus far is that our production team represents these three muses in a magical way. And the combination of the three of us in a room is creativity at its finest. I am Olive, the marvelously naive stage manager who is awe of everything this process is already, who looks up to her counterparts with this wide-eyed wonderment of what her future could become if she follows in their foot steps. Caitlin is Willow, living beautifully in the present and being an absolute star. She’s got this intelligence and wisdom that is unconventional and so comforting. Willow, the best friend character, is Caitlin because I don’t think there are many other people in the world I could talk so freely to or feel so safe with. And then there is Serenity, brilliant, brilliant Serenity, who is our Laurel. She has her life together in the amazingly creative configuration that allows everything she does to shine. It’s fantastic how talented she is. This script is to die for. The music is awe-inspiring, repeat-worthy, magic. And she is one of the nicest, happiest people on the planet.

The script is now on its fourteen version. You know what you get when you get to the fourteenth version? You get this marvelous piece of theater that lightens your heart and grounds your feet at the same time. Add a director who is stepping into the light to let her brilliance shine. Add a playwright/singer/songwriter whose songs have been lodged in my brain since I heard them. Add a wide-eyed stage manager who is learning to love her craft again and is in awe of the beautiful idols she has to work with and look up to. That leaves us with, ladies and gentleman, Sophie’s Dream.

-Allie Connell


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