‘Move On! Chronicles’ No. 4: As auditions begin, a poem

Poetry has been a part of Near West Theatre for a long, long time. It has been read from our “Coffee and the Arts” and “Party in Gordon Square” stages. It has been shared in the cast party and gift circle that happens after each production, where my friend and veteran NWT actor Joanie Hoover has often described the cast and show in a special poem. It’s not unusual for cast members themselves to bring poetry to those circles, too.

"Move On!" season imageAs we head into our last auditions at St. Pat’s this week — and if you’ve ever been in one of our shows, I do want to see you there this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday! –here’s a poem written a few years back by Darius Stubbs, who has served on our crews, as an assistant director, and onstage in such NWT productions as Finian’s Rainbow, Into the Woods and The Secret Garden. He offers a candid glimpse of the NWT experience in the verses below. Thanks, Darius, for letting us reprint this. I’m only sorry this blog format won’t quite mimic the indentations you use on the page.

Don’t forget, everyone: We need actors from all of our eras, all the way back

Darius Stubbs (center) in "Finian's Rainbow," 2008.

Darius Stubbs (center) in Finian’s Rainbow, 2008. Photo by Rob Sommerfelt.

to 1978, to make Move On! all it can be. Auditions for kids through age 13 are at 6 p.m.; teens and adults, 14 and up, at 7:30; all at 3606 Bridge Ave. Pick one night; arrive 15 minutes early to register. More information is at this web page and in editions No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 of the Chronicles. See you at St. Pat’s! — Bob Navis Jr.


“Untitled NWT Poem,” by Darius Stubbs

Precious hearts


to the point of bursting.

Precious beings hunger,



For the chance,

The chance

to be reached,

to reach out

to reach in and look

and find

and feel

and understand.

To find that push that drives them.

To know that what helps define them

lives within these walls.

Roams throughout these halls.

Now, we cannot touch it

(No one can)



can we feel it.

Feel it

from the moment

that those frightened, first – timers

fall fully


those private tunnel auditions

(and, oh yes, Mr. Kelly,

he will make you be a tree)

From that first

to the final

tear – soaked

Gut – wrenching

Gift – giving


You can feel it.




purely positive force

that consumes

and comforts

and consoles.

And though this energy

cannot be named

Or boxed up

Or labeled

Or categorized

It is there.






the reason


Despite the pain

And the hurt

And the anger

And the injuries

And the insults

And the disappointments

Despite the last – minute changes

And the “We haven’t staged this yet!”

Despite the quick tempers

And the harsh words

Despite the ego trips

And the power trips

And the power struggles

And the struggles to keep sane

And the sheer insanity

Of the hugeness of the shows

And the massive number of bodies we try to


into this tiny

intimate space


all of it,

That force,

That feeling,

It resonates

And draws us in

And we come back

And we stay

And though we will

have to say


We will never




Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.


About Near West Theatre

Our Mission Statement: "Near West Theatre builds loving relationships and engages diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through transformational theatre arts experiences." View all posts by Near West Theatre

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