Yesterday, my daughter and I drove to the cool air and cool vibe of Venice Beach so Hannah could audition for a play, "The Election Hygienists of CodePink" (CodePink, in the off chance you haven't heard of it, is a grassroots peace and social justice movement that seeks positive social change through proactive, creative protest and non-violent direct action. I am in love with their bold and beautiful actions and am happy to count myself in their numbers.) We showed up at the lovely CodePink house, where we were welcomed by a group of generous, talented women. Hannah got the part of the daughter of the Registrar of Voters--she is very excited; she gets to speak in a Southern accent! And I was enlisted to stand in for the lead role (Hygienist Helga) as they did a read through. I have never acted in a play--other than the one line I spoke as Grandma Josephine in a 5th grade production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--so this was a very fun and unexpected turn of events. I will probably step in at the next rehearsal, as well, since the lead is going to be out of town. And if they can find a gurney or hospital bed, I am going to play the ailing Lady Liberty, which feels very fitting (I was named a "Steward of Liberty for the next 100 years" in 1986, when my essay about the liberty of the human imagination was included in the centennial time capsule of the Statue of Liberty. I can't think of a better way to embody my stewardship.) The play is going to be produced in the SPARC building in Venice on August 27th, in conjunction with a pink slip fashion show (to give Bush the pink slip!), and a ceremony to honor Jodie Evans, one the co-founders of CodePink, and a recently named "Diva of Venice."
The most exciting part of the day for me was meeting Jodie. What an amazing woman--her vision and dedication and generosity and ability to get things done are deeply inspiring to me. While we were there, she received news that Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, was standing vigil in Crawford, Texas to demand a meeting with Bush. She and other protesters had been driven into a fire-ant infested ditch by authorities, but they refused to leave until she was able to ask Bush why he killed her son. CodePink was starting a hunger strike to stand in solidarity with her. I asked Jodie if there was anything I could do to help; today she called and asked if I could write a press release. I was happy to do so; you can find the release here. I look forward to helping out even more in the future.