“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) – Shakespeare
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…” As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII – Shakespeare
Both quotes relevant: past, present and future.
I’ve always loved my name (“Tara Lynne Taylor”). Something I would never consider changing about myself. My first name means ‘star’ in Sanskrit and Hindi amongst other languages. My maiden name (“Beaver”) will always represent a part of who I am, but since getting married, it represents more of the ‘past’ me. My middle name is a mix of my past, present, and future, as it’s a name shared with my Aunt and my daughter. I’m not going to bore you with an explanation:) That’s a story for another time. Please just trust that it will make a bit of sense by the end!
It’s neat how our name can help us tell our stories. In Elementary school, many of us did small projects on the meaning of our name and how it came to be chosen. In High school, essay titles were carefully chosen to represent our work. In University, the title of a play was dissected for deeper meaning and connections to the playwright’s intentions and play’s themes. So what’s in a name? It seems like a whole lot!
So what’s in our name? Why Purple Stage Door? Here’s a small part of the story behind our name: past, present and future…
In Middle school, I took dance lessons after school at Audrey Meredith Dance Centre in Milton, Ontario. It was a studio that offered more than just ballet and jazz lessons for me (although I didn’t realize it at the time.) In the most unlikely students, teachers saw the greatest potential. Everyone felt welcomed (even the cats that roamed in and out of classes!) Performance opportunities were given to students that allowed them to shine, harness their strengths, and develop the confidence to accomplish anything, and to do so beyond the studio. It was a space that sparked creativity (I used to practice routines in my parents’ basement, and then create my own). Countless hours were spent with teachers who I looked up to and admired. Each class was an exercise in learning from my mistakes, strengthening my weaknesses, and believing that my role was important, regardless of my position on stage.
Fast forward years – I’m talking years – later to sitting with my Mom in her family room. I was ready to start something, ready to ‘make a difference’ as I had listed in my high school graduating yearbook as my future ambition. Yes I had probably already ‘made a difference’ through my many experiences and adventures since Middle school, but it was time for something new. (This makes the ‘present’ in our story’s timeline.) A program that offered theatrical based workshops for all abilities and ages, a program that provided opportunities, sparked creativity, and helped people find the role that suits them best! That’s it! (This did not all come together quite like it may sound here. If you put the kettle on, we’ll meet up and I’ll tell you about it someday!;)
So what to name such a program? Well, it’s true what they say… “Mother knows best!” It was my Mom that helped me rewind to those days at Audrey Meredith Dance Centre. She highlighted those key words that connected my present and future with my past: opportunities, creativity, and roles. As we began to reminisce, she asked “remember the purple door in the laneway? The one you used to enter the studio? What about that as a name?” The more I thought about it, the more it all came to light. That door, that Purple Door that so many people came to identify with, was an entry point to a world of opportunities for growth and expression. Although the door itself is long gone, its impact is a source of inspiration and fond memories that create a whole lot of smiles and motivation for great things to come.
Let’s wrap up the story by returning to the name of this blog: “Everything Old is New Again.” (If there’s anything a Drama Studies degree has taught me, it is the conscious effort and energy put into the creation of titles and name choices.) It’s incredible how an old antique chair can be touched up with a bit of paint to look like new or how a classic board game can be repurposed into a therapy tool for children who are delayed in speech or fine motor skills. Everything old is new again – we’ve taken the Purple Door of our past, and recreated it into something new: Purple STAGE Door Productions. The Purple is your creativity, the world is your Stage, and our wish is that our Door is an opportunity to unlock your potential and find your role. It’s through the Stage Door that the entire production team enters into a world of theatre wonders, and exits into the world of daily reality. We’re ready to take that old Purple Door – and what it represented – and make it new again, welcoming individuals of ALL abilities who have an enthusiasm for theatre and a desire for growth.
Thank you Shakespeare, for asking the question and opening our eyes to a world filled with perspective. Thank you Mom for the special reminder of memories and inspiration. Thank you Ms. Audrey Meredith Jesch, Kim, Joyce, and Vicki for the gift of dance, encouragement, and the quality of education that goes beyond the barre. You are all the stars in my name’s meaning.
As the song goes…
“Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again”
The wall where the original “Purple Door” was to Audrey Meredith Dance Centre, Milton.