Thadd's Theatrical Learning Curve

I had a birthday this month many people consider significant. My feelings are mixed, I would say.

As a sort of coincidental birthday present, I have been given a series of opportunities to study with some of the world's greatest and most influential theater makers this winter. 
I can only confirm one of them publicly at the moment, but it’s a good one. In December, I will be travelling to Brasilia (Brazil) for a workshop with Eugenio Barba.
Eugenio never works directly with actors that are not part of Odin Teatret performances, except for these few days in Brazil. It’s extremely difficult to get into, particularly as a foreigner. It’s a tremendous honor. (Workshop website in English) 

I'm not at liberty to list the other artists and groups with whom I will study at the moment, but I can say that they are of an equivalent stature to Barba, and that the work I do with them will influence the next artistic phase of my life enormously. I will post them in updates as I confirm my schedule.

Like most “opportunities” in the arts, this one costs money rather than generating it. So here's my pitch: if you had the impulse to buy me a drink, or a card, or a present of any kind to mark this allegedly “nifty” birthday, consider throwing a few bucks at this “campaign.” When I get back I'll regale you with theatrical anecdotes or lead a workshop, as you prefer.

I know this kind of public begging for an essentially selfish purpose can come off as crass or even, given how much of the world desperately needs material help from us all right now, morally repugnant. The only other option for me is to simply not do these workshops. Which would obviously not be a global disaster. On the other hand, some of my friends and colleagues have told me that they think I should do whatever I can to make this happen, so here we are.
Here's what I can say: any of my students will tell you that I insist they recognize humanity in each other, in all of its forms, and demonstrate that humanity on stage. All of my work of the last 20 years has been a fight against the numbness and blindness to humanity that infects our world - it's one of the only arguments for live performance that makes sense to me. The people I will be studying with are my models and teachers in this. I'm not a great activist or organizer, but I try through my work to make the world a bit less barren and isolated. A bit more full of care and love, which I sure feel we need right now.

Thank you for your time.
I hope I see each and every one of you soon.

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Thadd McQuade 
Staunton, VA
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