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“That Sunny Day in Ashland” – A Story About Connection

My husband, Ken, and I had positioned ourselves outside the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Box Office for the better part of two days now, armed with a little handmade sign, hoping to get two tickets to the final, sold-out performance of the world premiere production of “Manahatta.” Written by playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle, “Manahatta” tells a raw, compelling and historically illuminating tale of the Native Americans  (the Lenape tribe), who originally inhabited what we now know as Manhattan.  It had garnered rave reviews, but more than that, something inside me told me I must see this play. I’ve learned to listen to that voice. Hence, the box office folks and I were now on a first name basis due to my popping in regularly, in hopes a patron may have just called to turn in a ticket or two. The final matinee performance of the season was due to start at 1:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., Ken and I continued to sit on the low stone wall just outside the box office, on this sunny Saturday, chatting with other theatre-goers. And hoping. At 1:07, I went inside to check the box office yet again.  No go. By this time, Ken had developed a friendly rapport with Roger, obviously a kindred spirit, who’d recently come and sat on the other side of him on the Transaction Wall, hoping someone would show up with an extra ticket to today’s matinee performance in the other theatre space. At 1:19, Shepherd (the box office attendant who held the record for most times he’d checked the computer for me) came dashing out of the building, saying, “Nancy! Someone...