A letter from a Byrd

Sue Sheehy currently lives in Oskaloosa, IA, but in 1970, she was a waitress in Iowa City -- and one of those normal people Robert Wilson pulled of the streets to be a part of his production. This picture is of her in New York at Wilson's Spring Street Loft in 1971. She caught wind of Robert Wilson's upcoming visit and the UIMA blog and wrote us a note. Here it is, and if there are any other people out there who remember Wilson's initial visit to the UI, we'd love to hear from you!

Mel Andringa gave me your email address and the UIMA blog spot on Robert Wilson and Deafman Glance. I must say the stories on this brought back many fond memories.

I was the waitress in Deafman Glance, and Bob Wilson found me working at Henry’s Restaurant, which was across the street from the Old Capital in Iowa City. When I was approached, I thought Bob was pulling my leg…Me in a play to be presented at the University?!! I had no theatre training and wasn’t a student. Someone who I worked with was from New York City and a U of I student, assured me Bob was on the level. He was a guest artist at the university.

I went to my first rehearsal with trepidation. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I’ve never regretted going. Bob put me at ease immediately. My impression and memory of the production of Deafman Glance was one of peace and tranquility. When it was over, I made plans to go to New York City to be in the production there. I went there for a two week vacation and stayed for 37 years. When I arrived in NYC, Bob and Mel met me at the Port of Authority dressed as gorillas. I worked with Bob for the next five years. He inspired me to write and do my own plays in that time. He gave me the opportunity to see some amazing countries….France, Iran, Holland, and South America.

Shortly after I arrived in NYC, I wrote a book about Bob, the people I met through him, and about being in Deafman Glance in Iowa City and New York City. I feel that I owe my life to Bob Wilson. He helped me to believe in myself and try new things.

I’m looking forward to seeing his portrait videos at CSPS and seeing him on February 1st.

Sue Sheehy

No comments: