“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” –Morrie Schwartz
In 2002, a friend of mine suggested that I read Tuesdays With Morrie. Back then, I wasn’t much of a reader, but the book wasn’t too big, so I gave it a shot. The first page lured me in, and I couldn’t put it down. This book changed me. Morrie Schwartz’s wisdom inspired me to create a quotes journal—filled with advice that was meaningful to me—which eventually became a full blown book of quotes that I still maintain today.
I was overjoyed when I heard that Tuesdays with Morrie was going to be performed at Center Playhouse. This book meant so much to me growing up, and I could not wait to see it be brought to life. Theater was one of my first loves. In fourth grade, I began acting with my mother in community theater productions. Not only was it a great first experience – it showed me the rewards of hard work and being a team player – but it was also great bonding time with my mother. Going to the theater brings back fond memories for me.
Center Players’ production was exceptionally well done and a memorable theatrical experience. Anthony Greco did a remarkable job of playing Mitch Albom, and Bill Lee was an incredible Morrie Schwartz. The changes Bill made in makeup and demeanor for each scene, especially as Morrie got closer to the end of his days, made his portrayal all the more believable. The emotions that were on that stage were really felt by the audience. We all laughed and cried together, bonded by the engaging action onstage.
Morrie Schwartz was an inspirational man. As soon as he found out that he had ALS, he decided not to mourn the loss of his life; he wanted to give the rest of his life meaning. Morrie did not want to spend it being miserable. He used his last few weeks on this earth to teach Mitch (and millions of other people worldwide) about life’s greatest lessons. He wanted to help Mitch slow down, follow his passions, and learn how to live. And in helping Mitch, Morrie indirectly helps every theatergoer and reader of the book.
Bio: Lisa Petrushun, an avid theatergoer, graduated from Rowan University with a BS in Business with a Marketing specialty. She currently works for SHI International. She lives in Manalapan with her husband Ande, a new German Shepherd puppy, and two cats.