So this summer Barnyard is doing a workshop on the play Dammed. Dammed is set in Monticello valley before the Monticello dam was built. Since we are so close, the cast took a field trip out this weekend. We stopped by the Monticello dam first. It is an amazing structure. There are signs up there that show how much water flows through he dam and how much energy is produced. But it is less positive when thinking about the town that was destroyed and the people forced off their land so this could happen.
Our next stop was the Monticello cemetery up at Spanish Flats. When the dam was being built, the town moved the cemetery so it would not be buried. As we wandered through the gravestones, a sense of solemness settled on us. There was not much talk, leaving the insects to provide all of the noise. We seemed to all be lost in thought. I kept thinking about how hard it is to bury a loved one in the first place, and how that pain must return if you need to move them.
We then set off to a picnic lunch by Berryessa Lake. There was tasty food and lovely talk before we set off for the Monticello museum. The Museum is a room full of pictures and stories and mementos from Monticello.What caught me were the stories. They reminded me of stories my grandparents have told me. Some very specific events that occurred as well as the feeling of the town. Boys would go off in the afternoon and feed themselves on whatever they caught. Teenagers would go make out in the cemetery. These are the pieces that make up a town.
Heidi Voelker is Stage Manager for Dammed, Director of Or, and Associate Producer for the 2012 Season.