The WHY of My Story.

Tonight my new show Arlington National Cemetery: My Forever Home opens its Capital Fringe Run at the Goethe Institut.

This is my fourth year at the Fringe and in this very venue. I am glad to be back with both. The Goethe is comfortable and deliciously air-conditioned. The air-conditioning is a major blessing in Washington in the summer. We are having the relentless heat and so it feels good in there.

This year I am trying something new for me. The Mainstage is a screening room so I have a selection of slides I have taken at Arlington over the past year running in a slide show as people are seating themselves. Those images not for the story itself but to establish the place of Arlington. Many people will know the place; many will never have been there but perhaps come because they are curious

Maybe they are asking themselves: "why is this woman telling a story about a cemetery?"

Good question!

Whether we want to think about it or not - the cemetery is a universal destination. It is an in-common setting for a story. Arlington is that and so much more. It is a place founded in revenge during the Civil War which has emerged as a National Shrine to Honor and Service and to Heroism.  It is also a place for families.

Arlington is a place of Remembering. It echoes the traditional folktale that says: "No one is truly dead as long as they are remembered."

For a year I have collected stories of the people buried there, the people who visit them, and the people who work at Arlington. I will be buried with my husband at Arlington and I am checking out the neighborhood before I move in.

This story is a growing collection of stories. It changes under my feet every time I go there because I talk to someone new, or see something I have not see before, or notice something that I missed earlier.

Arlington is a very beautiful as well as being a very busy sacred place.

Come and hear the story and then visit Arlington with a different perspective.

Is the Fringe the right place for this Story? I have no idea. It is a risk certainly - but Fringes are places where you put the a risky story out to a difference audience - and I like to take chances.

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