As regular FTS readers will know, Dr. Sandra Hardy – mentor to me and thousands of others – retired this spring, and then passed away in June. The University of Maine’s School of Performing Arts held a celebration of Sandra’s life on August 9 in Minsky Recital Hall. It was a terrific event, with friends from all over coming together to say goodbye to Sandra with stories, songs, memories, and photos. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in a decade or longer. In fact, there were many of us who had never met at all, but who were bound by the fact that Sandra changed our lives.
As we remembered her there, we thought it would be fitting to pay our respects again in this setting, via our Summer Session series.
If you pay attention around these parts, you know that I’m in charge of the Arts & Culture beat for Fill The Steins. I mean… Mostly. There was that time I wrote up an April Fool’s prank that was sports-themed, right? And some Football Playoff stuff. But interviews and especially the arts world have been my go-to.
After my sophomore year, I had successfully stage managed a handful of shows, and would do a few more in my third year. Somewhere in there, Sandra called me into her office, and told me she wanted me to stage manage Cabaret. Emphasis on told. Even if I wanted to, there wasn’t much in the way of turning that chance down.That winter/spring was amazing. When you have a cast and crew of 75+, there are a lot of opportunities for biiiiig parties. There was the time at 5-O (home to FTSers, Adam and B-Mac) that included an epic performance by short-lived college punk sensation, The Squirts (headlined by HBO’s own Tim Simons!) In short, that show was the backdrop for some of the most fun I’ve ever had.
Photos courtesy of the UMaine SPA, David Currier, and Tim Simons.