Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

Choosing to Say Goodbye

From time to time I write an article for Open to Hope, an organization which helps people to find hope after the loss of a loved one. This week, I wrote, “Choosing to Say Goodbye” about the loss of my friend Curtis. I modeled the character Jonathan in THE STACY PLAY – A LOVE SONG – VOLUME I after him. Last month’s staged reading allowed me to hear the play in its entirety, and helped my healing process along as well. As my play continues to live and my heart continues to heal through writing and directing, I can only hope that I will continue to expand and express my own journey.

You may download the article here:  Anne Hamilton Choosing to Say Goodbye Article for Open to Hope

Choosing to Say Goodbye

by Anne Hamilton (c) June 24, 2012

There’s a time when you have to say goodbye, and a time when you choose to say goodbye.

For the first time, I chose to say goodbye to my friend Curtis today.

I had to say goodbye when he was ripped away from me in a car accident thirty years ago. And all this time I’ve been resenting that accident.

But recently the song, “Freebird”* by Lynryd Skynyrd has kept echoing in my head. If I heard it on the radio, I would listen for its entirety. I would pull off the road to listen to it. I couldn’t get that song out of my mind.

I had heard it at so many high school dances in the 70’s. It was a classic.

Today I wanted to hear that song. I listened to it over and over on YouTube. I let the song sink in and I cried for a long time. And my heart changed. I needed to hear the words and more important, I needed to feel them.

“If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.

‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you cannot change.
Oh… oh… oh… oh…
And the bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows I can’t change.

Bye, bye, baby it’s been a sweet love,
Though this feeling I can’t change.
But please don’t take it so badly,
‘Cause Lord knows I’m to blame.
But if I stayed here with you girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.

‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you cannot change.
Oh… oh… oh… oh…
And the bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows, I can’t change.
Lord help me, I can’t change.

Lord I can’t change,
Won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah.

I always thought I was the free bird because I’m the fiercely independent one. But today I realized that Curtis was the free bird, and that’s why I love this song so much. It’s imprinted on my mind, like the news of his death and my turmoil after his loss.

And what if he said to me, “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on, now, cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see”?

And what if he‘s saying in that song, “Bye, bye, baby it’s been a sweet love…though this feeling I can’t change. ‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change.”

I can respect that. I can love him for that. I can thank him for that.

And now I can let him go. On to his travels, and his places to see.

‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now. And this bird you cannot change.

We were together for a little while and forever.

I can be a free bird.

*Song by Ronald W. Van Zant and Allen Collins

Theatre Women’s Advocacy Groups

This is my most recent Bucks County Women’s Journal column about resources for women in the theatre.

You may download the article  here: BCWJ article on Theatre Women’s Advocacy Groups by Anne Hamilton.

Theatre Women’s Advocacy Organizations

By Anne Hamilton, M.F.A.

In the last few years, several new women’s advocacy organizations have joined those already established.

In New York, the perennial leaders include The League of Professional Theatre Women, and Women in the Arts and Media Coalition, Inc.

The League is an advocacy organization for reinforcing the positive image of, promoting the visibility of, and increasing the opportunities for women in the arts and entertainment industries, more particularly the professional theatre, thereby enriching the culture with the infusion of women’s creativity.

The purpose of the Coalition is to focus the power of its member organizations together and to use that combined strength to address issues of concern to women in theatre, film, TV, radio, and new media.

In recent years, they have been joined by many new groups. The Dramatists Guild Women’s Initiative advocates for female playwrights. And Works by Women supports theatrical work written, directed and/or designed by women.

WISE (Women in Stage Entertainment) was created by a group of like-minded women working in entertainment lighting who discovered they commonly faced issues that sometimes negatively impacted on their working lives. They felt the time had come to address these issues as a collective and to bring them to the attention of the wider industry.

17 Percent is an organization supporting and promoting female playwrights in the UK.

Why 17%? It’s a significant figure. It was quoted at Sphinx theatre’s 2009 ‘Vamps, Vixens and feminists’ conference as the percentage of UK women playwrights being produced and it’s also the pay gap between men and women.

While women make up 52% of the UK’s population, and 65% of the theatre audience, only 17% of UK produced plays are written by women. Something is badly skewed. The quoted figures are from 2010.

17% founder Sam Hall, says, “We will support and promote female playwrights through networking events, courses, feedback and dramaturgy, and championing women’s achievements in the theatre. We will also provide positive female role models and inspirations, showcases with opportunities for feedback, and mentoring opportunities.”

Services include an enewsletter, a blog, and video resources on YouTube.

Anne Hamilton has more than twenty years of experience in the professional theatre in NYC, across the nation, and internationally. She is available for script consultations and career advising through hamiltonlit@ Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! will begin with an interview with Kate Valk, a leading actress with The Wooster Group.