On Stage

Love's Fool

Fun with romantic folly


What: Love's Fool

When: 6 pm Sat., Apr. 1

Where: Boundary Bay Brewery's Mountain Room

Cost: $5-$10

Info: http://www.rootedemerging.org

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When Vanessa Osage asked world-renowned scribe Tom Robbins to be part of Rooted Emerging’s first “Love’s Fool” event last year, he politely declined.  

But the trained doula, activist and sexuality educator didn’t give up. After the success of the inaugural fundraiser, she sent another missive to the La Conner-based trickster’s PO box with photos, flyers and more details to disclose. He learned that as “Grand Jester” he’d be sharing the stage with an emcee—local actress and director Carolyn McCarthy will be assuming the role—and the event would also include live music, vaudeville performances and stories of romantic folly from a variety of community members.

“I sent a second letter, and he called to say yes,” Osage says of Robbins, 84, who will share excerpts from his memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie, sign autographs of his autobiography and works of fiction, and generally make mischief.

“I think fans will recognize a resonance in his life and work with what we do as an organization,” she says.

Rooted Emerging, Osage explains, has been celebrating youth rites of passage since 2010. Their programs support the transition from childhood into adolescence—namely puberty and sexual maturity—by placing meaningful sex education into small, confidential groups and sharing outdoor events together. Following that, each youth has a solo overnight “vigil” in the wilderness.

“The intensity of the time deserves to be met with experiences that challenge kids and help them find their growing edge,” Osage says. “They are craving it. We support parents along the way too, and give them the honor they may not have received during that time. It’s a big shift for all involved, and addressing it with honesty and care makes all the difference.”

Those attending “Love’s Fool” can find out more about why the programs are so successful, but Osage says they should also expect to be entertained and enlightened, especially when the storytellers—who range in age from 22 to 78—share their own tales of love gone wonky.

“First kisses are often a theme, romantic fantasy is present, and everything else that shows up along the way,” Osage says. “After witnessing the courageous tenderness of these stories, you might just walk away believing that foolishness is the best part of being human.”

Listen carefully to the secrets, because as an audience member you’ll be allowed to vote with your heart to help select the eponymous Love’s Fool, who will be crowned by Robbins with a jester’s hat and bestowed with a variety of prizes. 

“You might say we are elevating the concept of ‘foolishness’ to include all of our highest passions, and the ability to go forth in faith, if only because we feel something so strongly,” Osage says. “To be a fool is to be noble—and I’m pretty sure Mr. Robbins as our Grand Jester will embody that.”

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