Taos Community Auditorium

I have had a special feeling about Taos, New Mexico, ever since 1964, when I spent a week there on vacation from The Voice. I went back whenever I had the chance, driving through on various cross-country trips. In 1976, when I was doing “Cowgirl Ecstasy” at The Changing Scene in Denver, I went for a visit to Taos with my wife Michele, whose parents had recently moved there. Driving around with her one day, I idly remarked, “Maybe we should move here too,” and she burst into tears. I was not very happy in my job under David Way at the harpsichord factory in Stonington, Connecticut, and in May 1977 I gave it up and we moved to Taos, not realizing it was the third poorest county in the nation. I had a terrible time making a living in Taos, but our second son Alfred was born there, I made a beautiful harpsichord, and I did quite a bit of theatre.

The Taos Community Auditorium, generally referred to as the TCA, is a blocky concrete theatre that was built by the Taos Art Association behind their Stables Gallery. I arranged for the Mystic Paper Beasts, my friends Dan and Melisande Potter’s family theatre, to come from Stonington in December 1977 to perform and lead workshops at the TCA. I directed “West Side Story” there and subsequently became the Technical Director of the theatre, which meant I had to set up lights and be there for rehearsals and performances of whatever attractions came through. It was an honest livelihood and I enjoyed the work, although it was hard to tear myself away from family life in our house in the country and face the sometimes rancorous politics of the town. After some months the TAA decided it did not have enough funds to support a Tech Director and the job was terminated.

In February 1979 I directed my translation of Calderón’s “La Vida Es Sueño” (“Life Is Dream”) for the Taos Theatre Company at the TCA, and as soon it closed, we moved back to Stonington.