It’s totally exciting to be back at Z Space! It’s been about four years since I was collecting a regular paycheck here as Z’s first executive director (from 2001-2006). People always ask me if I miss [Z Space founder and then-artistic director) David Dower. The answer is YES. He was a lot of fun - one great idea after another, that’s what it was like working with David. The sky was the limit. We’re still in touch, even though he’s moved on to the major leagues. He’s still the same guy.
My favorite thing about the old Z Space Studio was our yearly RentWalk. As much as I don’t miss organizing them, they were some of the best times and we raised quite a bit of money. Staff walked, board members walked, artists walked. Over the years we walked with Josh Kornbluth, Anne Galjour, Brian Thorstenson, Doug Jacobs, Nina Wise, JoAnne Winter, Michelle Carter, Ellen Moore, Nancy Shelby, Patty Silver, Sheila Balter, the list goes on and on. The last one that Z Space did, in 2006, I happened to be at the hospital (having just given birth to my baby girl) and I called David Dower to tell him I was wearing my RentWalk T-shirt in the delivery room. Apparently in my post-partum delirium I was telling all the doctors and nurses about Z Space. I’m sure the sight of me giving birth with that huge Z SPACE RENTWALK logo on my T-shirt is etched into their brains, guaranteeing that none of those people will ever come to a Z Space anything.
Chloe is three now, and I’m happy to be back here. We’ve outgrown the RentWalk days, but in some ways nothing ‘s changed. Z Space is still the organization I loved at first sight, almost ten years ago. It still feels like the place to be. There’s always something cool going on. A reading, a rehearsal, a group of artists meeting. On any given day, music abounds, people rush around. Only now it’s even better, because I have these cathedral windows to stare at while I sit at my desk. And we have our own theater, which opens up so many opportunities. Even when the stage is not being used, just knowing it’s there, sitting empty, waiting for something great to happen on it, it makes me smile.
A few weeks ago we had our first reading of A Round-Heeled Woman, which is our big show coming up in January. A big coup, thanks to Lisa Steindler, who is amazing as Z’s current fearless leader. Sharon Gless was fantastic. Actually, everyone was good I thought, but she was a stand-out. Guess that’s why she’s the star. She brought See’s Candy suckers for everyone. She was incredibly gracious, funny, and read her character brilliantly without even trying. I was surprised how much presence she brought to the room, given that she had no make-up on, her hair wasn’t doing anything great, and she was in very casual clothes. Wow, I thought, she’s definitely has it, whatever “it” is. Something compelling about her. Sharon also offered to come in and do a benefit for us, free of charge, on her night off. Pretty cool. So we’re going to make it a fun evening, with a cocktail reception on January 11th and then an interview with her on the stage, led by Jan Wahl from KRON (“the Hat Lady”) and ending with an audience Q&A . Can’t wait. It’s no RentWalk, but it’ll do.
-Laura Bergman, Development Director