Sometimes People in an Audience Catch My Eye

December 19, 2016


Above: Line of people sitting in front of me at the opening performance for “Orphan Train.” In the pocket size Hahnemühle Nostalgie book with a Sakura Pigma Sensei.

I had the great good fortune to go to “Orphan Train” at the Minnesota History Theater on opening night. My friend, composer and musician Charlie Maguire did the music. I gave a shout out on Facebook and encouraged readers in the area to go. It was pretty much sold out for the whole run.

The play tells the stories of a group of orphans sent from New York City to the Midwest (including Minnesota) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was very moving. The songs sometimes fun, sometimes, sad, but always great. The cast energetic and appealing. The story often sad.

Before the show started and during intermission I sketched a couple audience members who caught my eye.  

Below: Audience member standing during intermission. Sometimes my people end up being composites because they move along, but this guy stood in this position during the entire intermission (I was too sad to get up and move about). I didn’t sketch him at first because I thought he would move. Then when the woman I started with moved I sketched him and had plenty of time to add watercolor. Dick picked this guy out as he was exiting the theater. The man was heavily top lit and the light off his bald pate and white hair caught my attention—oh, yeah, and that yellow shirt. The text is a comment I overheard. Like the other audience member sitting nearby saying this I originally didn’t know, until Charlie was involved in this project first a number of years ago, that this whole event had taken place. There were people in the audience who were decedents of some of the transported orphans.


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