From The Other Paper, South Burlington, VT
I firmly believe that the arts are central to keeping our individual and societal creativity alive. They are food for the soul, giving us a different way to think and dream that is not hemmed in by politics, economics, religion, race, or gender. – Linda McGinnis
As an economist by training, resident Linda McGinnis has lived and worked in developing countries around the world on projects related to poverty reduction, education, and the environment. Throughout the richness of this experience, the arts have remained a focal point in her life and in the lives of her family.
And now Ms. McGinnis will showcase her own talents locally as part of the Girls Nite Out production of the comedy The Hallelujah Girls, October 6-9, at the Main Street Landing Black Box Theatre in Burlington.
“Girls Nite Out,” explained Ms. McGinnis, “is this incredible theater company that was founded in 2010 by veteran actors Jennifer Warwick-Sokolowski and Janet Stambolian, with the mission putting on high quality productions that feature women in the majority of principal roles.”
“When the auditions for The Hallelujah Girls were announced,” she continued, “I was so nervous because I had only recently moved to this area from India, but I’ve moved around a lot in my life and know that sometimes you have to just take a deep breath and go for it. When I finally auditioned, the whole group was so wonderful and welcoming, I felt like I had met kindred spirits.”
Ms. McGinnis celebrated the inclusive nature of the cast and crew, and she also deeply valued the script of The Hallelujah Girls, which, she noted, “is both hilarious and genuinely meaningful. The play centers on a group of women friends who have known each other for years. When one of their dear friends dies, my character Sugar Lee galvanizes the others to finally pursue their dreams. The show is great for both sexes, the central theme being ‘it’s never too late to become the person you were meant to be.’”
Pursuing their own dreams is perhaps what Ms. McGinnis and her husband did in moving from India to Vermont to be closer to extended family. Ms. McGinnis, “the proud mom of three children (Maya, Misha, and Sean),” continues to have gratitude for her family’s new home in Vermont, which has provided “beautiful outdoor access, a thriving arts community, good schools, incredible skiing, and most of all, great people.” She already has given back to her community by joining the Board of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and becoming a family sponsor for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. She closed by reflecting on her love of “yoga, pottery, reading, skiing, good (local!) food, travel, languages, my neighbors and new friends, and, most of all, watching my family enjoying all that Vermont has to offer.”
SOURCE: Susie Merrick, Contributor
Read on The Other Paper