In keeping with tradition, longtime Commonweal resident ensemble member David Hennessey pens a paean in honor of the year’s work, referencing each of the plays we produced in the season. Here is David’s poem for 2023:

Our apprentices tackled a tough show
In March. Pillowman gave us tales of woe
And tortures concealed:
But which ones were real?
Then, mega-star Bernhardt wanted to know

Why actors portray a brooding Hamlet.
“How can I play one who’s not dynamic?”
Still, always on brand,
She played the prince grand.
In Deathtrap, Sid’s wife died of sheer panic

As he staged a man returned from the dead.
(A scene that left patrons gasping in dread!)
In Jeopardy, friends
Jumped up to defend
One of their own: they saw danger ahead

From a presumed killer, or so they thought.
Then, our virtuous Dr. Jekyll sought
To cure the vile beast
That lurks without cease
Deep in mankind. (That dream sure came to naught.)

She Loves Me, our most ambitious piece yet,
Charmed patrons with music, costumes, and set.
But revenues slowed
As we lost some shows
When COVID said, “I’m still here, don’t forget!”

Staff leaving this season: from the tech side
Kelsey and Rivka. Then Rachel decides
She will step away
To give birth one day
To Julian, whom we welcomed with pride!

Stepping out too, yours truly. This poem here
Marks my last look back on a past stage year.
It sure has been fun!
Let’s toast more to come
From the Commonweal. Many thanks and cheers!

—David Hennessey