A  New  Ancient  Tradition

I couldn’t tell you what my favorite was, but I can tell you that the sliders went the fastest. From the brilliant sort of Asian casserole goodness, to the classic pimento cheese sandwiches, the simple-yet-profound thing about a potluck dinner is that everyone brings something to the table. It’s perfect. You can bring your best, or worst efforts for that matter, leave them on the table, and even if you never touch them, someone else will and you will still leave full. Even the people who are gluten intolerant.

I didn’t know that such a simple idea for a get together would end up being such a delight. I had not thought about how we were practicing two of the most ancient traditions; sharing meals, and sharing stories. But on the last Friday of April, people who had just heard of The WordPlayers, alongside people who have been there since the dawn of this wonderful community, shared a meal and enjoyed each others’ company. Then we told stories; heart wrenching, hilarious, all over the place. Then we retold them, with Playback.

What is Playback? Well, I could describe it, and offer some of the measurable successes we have experienced, but really the best thing I could say is that it’s something we feel that God has compelled us to do and you should check out one of our performances as soon as you can. But what this is really about, is a new, ancient tradition for The WordPlayers. A time where we come together, and serve one another with ease so that the burden of a meal or entertainment is not on any one person and the joy of it rests on all. An opportunity to be a community. To remember the past. The good and the bad, the fun and the sad. To inspire the future.

Potluck and Playback is for the people. Not to raise money, awareness, or list off areas where help is needed. No, just to be together and enjoy each other, WordPlayers’ style. We are all so busy. I cringe a little every time I invite someone to an event or performance. I think of how I wish I had more time with my wife, son, and dog (not the cat). I think of what a blessing it is these days to sit down for a meal. To hear and tell, over empty plates, tales of the day that has just flown by, so that maybe we will remember that God was in it. We sustain what we are by eating. We become, and understand who we are by the hearing and telling of stories. We did that together Friday night. It was great, so we will do it again.

Talk to me.

Ethan Norman
Artistic Associate, The WordPlayers