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Post-Mee

Stream-of-consciousness replay of the Booth ceremony:

Dan welcomes.  Mee’s granddaughter and a Columbia student (via video) congratulate “Pappa Mee.”  Jean Graham-Jones connected Mee’s “sampling and thefts” with translation: both have the capacity to complicate our understanding of texts.  She then rehearsed the Mee quote most often used in college paper epigraphs:  regarding Ibsen and Miller, “they lost the community, they lost the music and the dance and the spectacle and just shut us up in a middle-class living room with a nuclear family.”  

A second Columbia student thanked Mee for helping him work through writers block: “All you have to do is press ‘on’ (the button).”  Frank Episale was alternately ironic and eloquent.  He recalled a naked friend roller skating at the Zipper Theatre, ending his talk describing Mee’s plays as “too beautiful to be perfect.”  Steve Luber paid homage to the “Mee generation,” channeling Woody Allen, poaching a routine from Andy Kaufmann, and intentionally misattributing a Beckett quote (who may have been stealing from Chekhov — Vanya).  Very Post.  

Kenn Watt does Orestes “2.2” (the digitized version from 1995 in ‘frisco).   Kenn draws a portrait of an artist as friend/mentor/uncle – warmly celebrating Mee as generous and humble collaborator.  “Everyone always feels good in the rehearsal room.”

In accepting the award, Mee had not prepared any comments because he “expected to be handed a slip of paper informing him that the plaque was in the mail.”   

Congratulations to Frank and everyone else who helped out.  Let me be the first to say: what an amazing array of cheeses!  At the party, I introduced myself to Mee.  I hadn’t planned on it, but he was watching me fuss with my notebook and his look drew me in.  A large right hand wrapped around mine, and he said “hi.”  He looked me straight in the eye, he didn’t smile.  Disarming, totally present, no rush for words.  Not what you expect at a cocktail party.  I said “hi.”  Then I said “thank you…I…”  Then I said “Well, bye.”  Then Mee said “bye.”    

 

 

 

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