Saturday, May 06, 2017



“Casting Shadows” Play Production, February 17, 18, 19, 2017
A new play by Carol Haake
Directed by Carol Haake and Susie Bradley

The goals of the play production project were (1) to offer some essential principles of Jungian Psychology to a new and broad audience, and (2) to break even financially.  We far exceeded both goals.

Goal 1:  The play had embedded in the storyline an essential Jungian idea, that of the continuing development of the personality over the entire lifespan.  The story plus Carol’s and an accompanying analyst’s discussion with the audience after each performance added to the first goal.  About half of each audience was new to the Jung Society, and some unknown fraction was new to Jung’s ideas.  Our initial plans were to do two or three performances.  As it developed, three performances were necessary, and all three were sold out.  About 250 people total saw the play.  That number included paid ticket holders, invited guests, and workers for each performance.

The Jung Society Board decided to have Visual Alchemy (Rick Vaughn and Ken Clayton) videotape one play performance.  Taping was done during dress rehearsal the evening before opening night.  Visual Alchemy also videotaped an interview with Carol Haake, the playwright, and Donna Leone, a Society board member.  Both will be available on the Jung Society website soon (

Goal 2:  Given the cost of The Chapel Theater (none) with refreshments (part of the Theater gifting for one performance), the low-cost use of Unity Church facilities for rehearsals, the donations of time, treasure, and the talent from many people (especially Carol Haake, Susie Bradley, Julie Schulte, Don Weseman, and Sandy Cooper), the production should have came in under budget.  Jung Society Sales of the play DVD’s over time should add to revenue.

There were many factors that added to the over-the-top success of this project.  They include:

A)  Having “Casting Shadows” a fine story and play, one that lended itself to explication of Jungian themes.  (Thanks, Carol Haake!)

B)  Securing The Chapel Theater and fixing the dates on the calendar a year in advance of the performances.  (Thanks, Kathryn Stinson!)

B)  Having arresting artwork that provided an image early in the project for garnering interest.  (Thanks, Ginger Adkins!)

C)  Getting simple  “Save the Date” post card (with the image) notices to over 800 people on the Jung Society mailing list.  (Thanks, to all who helped with the mailing!)

D)  Having the help of an experienced play director.  (Thanks, Susie Bradley!)

E)  Getting the assistance of sound and lighting experts.  (Thanks, Rick Vaughn and Ken Clayton!)

F)  Having the fine cooperation of the coordinator of The Chapel Theater.  (Thanks, Wilson West!)

G)  Having imaginative set and costume design/implementation, posters, and picture boards.  (Thanks, Julie Schulte and Don Wesemann!)

H)  Taking on the role of the magician when two original cast members had to bow out.  (Thanks, Francesca Ferrentelli!)

I)  Having the Society Registrar carefully track ticket reservations and report progress.  (Thanks, Jeri Malone!)

J)  Having the coordination of efforts between the play production committee and the Jung Society Board of Directors. (Thanks, Sandy Cooper!)

K)  Having dedicated cast members who gave so generously of their time and talent to bring words on paper to enlivening, joy-filled performances.  (Thanks, Cast Members!)

L)  Having the Jung Society underwrite, publicize, and support all facets of the Production.  (Thanks, Jung Society Board Members, Subscribing Friends, and Anonymous Donors!)

M) Having photographs for posting on the Jung Society website (  (Thanks, Julie Schulte, Donna Leone, R.J. Fitch!)

No doubt I have missed acknowledging people’s efforts.  My apologies to them.

This whole play production project, from vague idea to accomplished reality, is itself an example of a fundamental principle of Jungian Psychology.  That principle:  There are forces at work in us and in the world beyond those of simple cause and effect.  Plentiful evidence suggests that when something is to be fulfilled in the future, a gathering of forces—particular people, talents, materials, resources, places, events—converge to insure that fulfillment.  Human intention and discernment are critical to insuring any fulfillment is of a benign and benevolent nature.

This is actually an ancient notion:

“Write the vision down;
make it plain on tablets,
so they may run who read it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come;
it will not delay."
         [Habakkuk 2:2-3]

Rose F. Holt


Leah Friedman's The Unexpected Adventure of Growing Old is an exploration of many of the facets of a subject our culture avoids, primarily out of fear and misunderstanding, but also abetted by a consumer society that rewards youth and ignores the elderly. Add to those factors, a medical mentality and a pharmaceutical industry focused almost entirely on all that is wrong, awry, dysfunctional, and diseased, ageism is the inevitable by-product.

One of the delights of the book is the author's clear understanding of Jungian concepts which she uses to help elucidate a process of growth and development that has the potential of delivering fine rewards of creativity and satisfaction well into very old age.  If you are interested in the prospects of a late life that is a celebration of growing old, this is the book for you.

Dr. Friedman, in her 89th year, takes on the topic of aging directly and without apology, writing while standing on the shoulders of giants who have lived long and well, and while being attentive to and conscious of her own aging process. She in no way minimizes the issues she and many aging people (a group that includes everyone of us!) encounter but dares to explore with clear eye and warm heart many of the experiences of her last three decades--some enriching, rewarding, life-enhancing; others, vexing, heart-breaking, challenging almost beyond human endurance; all imbued with valuable life lessons.

In my initial read, I was happy to jump from chapter to chapter, engaging the text randomly as the author invites the reader to do. Soon, though, I returned to page one and read straight through, having realized the order of the chapters, like the aging process itself, parallels a growing, deepening understanding.

I am in my eighth decade and was delighted to have many of my own assumptions about aging up-ended, especially the most general one of all, that growing old is difficult, unpleasant, troublesome, and to be postponed as long as possible (an actual impossibility) by every means available. Personal experiences of loved ones entering periods of illness that short-circuited and truncated their lives had cast an unconscious pall over my own ideas of growing old. I found practical benefits in having some of my own implicit assumptions called into question and corrected. I know full well that we often find in life what we expect to find, that we both live our own story and can be seduced into living stories others too-frequently and often eagerly write for us. One's own stories about growing old are important, even life defining.

The Unexpected Adventure of Growing Old is well researched and well written. The author has an engaging and deceptively simple style that makes for a smooth read; there is no stumbling over awkward verbiage or jarring style. There are many occasional delights of sentence structure that help shine a light on unexpected rewards in very trying circumstances, even humor in pathos. A paragraph I particularly noted was the description of the author’s own acquisition of a desirable patience as her husband declined into dementia. “. . . there was one period when he told me hundred of times each day how important it is to have compassion, advice which, due to its tiresome recurrence, greatly tested my capacity to follow his worthy instruction.”

Dr. Friedman has given us a brilliant and uplifting new narrative for growing old in a time of increasing longevity and opportunity, a narrative necessary for a changing reality. In typing the book title, I accidentally wrote “The Unexpected Adventure of Growin Gold.” With an added apostrophe, I think that might well serve as a silent subtitle.