Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

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. This year was certainly full of challenges, but “the show must go on!” Here is David’s poem for 2020:

A Season for Punting

Our season started with slots for five plays,
And apprentice’s choice would lead the way.
Plus, some extra glory
From Wealhouse stories.
Our classy publicity pics conveyed

High hopes for the year. But fears of blight
Haunted The Fox on its opening night.
It played for two shows
When we. Had to
          . . . Close.
          But, we hoped, we’d only need,
          Like, . . . slight

Changes in schedule? Cut back to, say, . . . four
Shows? Or even three? Then open our doors?
Our board had our backs,
Kept ensemble intact,
So we could plan. But new shocks were in store

With the death of George Floyd. Amid all the stress,
We pledged to address issues of justice
That can often lurk
Unseen in our work.
But with closed doors, how could patrons access

Our stories? Joining two other arts groups,
We jointly learned to record as a troupe.
Though isolated,
We still created
Seamless collections of tales from the Root!

Then, two one-man shows, both filmed from our stage:
With vaudeville arts, Entertainer engaged
The audience through
A comic revue;
Our Fully Committed was all the rage—

One actor, 40 roles! Next came a run
Of weird pieces that could never be done
If we staged them live:
Our talking heads thrived
Enclosed in a box! The monologues spun

Were quirky fun! And since we felt Driftless
This year, we ended with cheer for Christmas,
As we all returned
To traditions learned
From families. May memories bear witness

To what we and the world have struggled through.
So, here’s to next year. We’ll love to see you!

—David Hennessey

Happy Holidays from the Commonweal
We spent a lot of time on Zoom in 2020, so this seemed only natural.