I had a post planned today, but I’m writing this instead. This morning, I heard that Michael Green had died. Michael was a important member of the Calgary theatre community. He was a founding member of One Yellow Rabbit, a daring, alternative, subversive theatre company that has been pushing the envelope for decades.
You probably don’t know this, but I was involved in theatre for a long time: I took drama and playwrighting classes in high school, did an undergraduate degree in theatre, stage managed, had a couple of my own plays produced, and participated in theatre in numerous other ways.
In high school, I took a playwrighting class and as a group we went to see a play called Doing Leonard Cohen. This play started with Michael Green fully naked on stage warning the audience about the obscenities in the play we were about to watch while the other cast members dressed him. They play took various Leonard Cohen lyrics and stories and weaved them into a show that was poetry and performance and movement and it was a revelation to 16-year-old me who had never seen anything like it. It totally changed what I thought theatre was and could be.
Many years later, I worked for a Calgary paper and interviewed Michael about a show. I was nervous because he was such an important figure, but he was so kind and interesting and confident. I also had a short-lived stint working the bar at his theatre and got to know him and his kindness a bit better as I served him drinks night after night.
Michael died in a car crash that also killed four other people. So often you hear about these rural highway tragedies and hardly give them a second thought. It’s all I can think about today. And it’s a good reminder to not take life for granted because any second it can be taken away. Rest in Peace, Michael.