Musical theatre workshops and productions

A Sky full of butterflies and a big white dog

Recently, I went on a yoga retreat in the mountains of Thailand.  I was so looking forward to it – yoga twice a day in the cool mountains, vegetarian meals and silent walks.  Time to replenish the soul, spirit and imagination.

My yoga teacher turned me onto this place when she sent me a link to the website.  I immediately fell in love with it and tried to find a way to make this work with an upcoming trip to Thailand that we had planned.

I arrived to find that the mountains in Thailand at this time of year are not cool – they are hot – very hot.  In addition, the eco resort – which sometimes doubles as a yoga training center – is in the middle of the jungle.  Yes…jungle.   (Although I was in a VERY nice room, I did have visits from a large, black mouse, a beautiful snake and a small brown bat….and of course….lots of bugs.)

I practiced yoga by the pool and as I opened my eyes during relaxation I looked up and saw a sky full of butterflies. I am talking about hundreds of butterflies…..later I tried to count the number and kinds of butterflies but stopped because there were so many.

Then, onto a silent walk through the jungle.  We had choices of walks and I thought I made the “appropriate” choice for me which was a walk to the organic vegetable and herb garden – about 5 km.  Well, I soon realized that this trek was up a series of hills…..steep hills….as I thought I was not going to make it, I did see a vista ahead.  So, I carried on.  When I got to the top – the view was amazing.  I could see trees, flowers, orchids everywhere – and of course – beautiful clouds.  OK, time to head back.  The trek back was through very thick vegetation.  We each carried walking sticks which was also supposed to be used to protect us in addition to help us trek. Our guide told us to watch out for snakes (“they are as thick as my leg!” said the guide) and to not touch any frogs, if we saw them.   In addition, some of the small trees were pulled up by the roots and some of the banana trees looked like they had been ravaged.  Nothing was said about this until we returned when we learned that there was a “rogue bull elephant” who was trampling around the grounds recently.  Oh, but not to worry….you won’t see him during the day, just don’t go out into the jungle at night!

When we were almost home, a large white dog ran up to us, greeted us with sloppy kisses and turned to guide us back to camp.

What does this have to do with theatre?  Well….sometimes creating a musical is a little like a yoga retreat.  You begin excited, get exhausted but keep on trekking.  Going forward, I must remember to look up and see the “butterflies in the sky.” And of course….when you are getting close to a first draft…..enjoy the big white dog as he guides you home.

Larry Little

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