Our Beautiful Friend.

It has been a difficult and tragic week at the Filament Theatre Ensemble, as we mourn the sudden loss of ensemble member Allison Powell.  Allie’s vibrant spirit, creativity, and unmistakable brand of humor profoundly enriched the Filament community, from her one-of-a-kind adaptation of Choose Thine Own Adventure, to her upbeat attitude at every meeting.  We are proud to have had the chance to know and work with such a remarkable woman, and will work hard to continue her legacy in all the work that we do.

Below, the we of the Filament Theatre Ensemble have shared thoughts and memories of Allie, and we would love to invite you to do the same.  Please comment below, or email me at julie [at] filamenttheatre [dot] org.  We send deepest sympathy to Allison’s friends and  family around the world.  There are no words to express our sadness at the loss of our dear, sweet friend and collaborator.

A public celebration of Allie’s life will be held at the Strand Theatre in Marietta, Georgia at 2:00 on Friday, January 14.

Earl Smith Strand Theatre
117 North Park Square
Marietta, GA 30060
Office: 770-293-0080

For friends and family in the Chicago area, we will be holding a celebration on the same day – Friday January 14 – at 7:00pm, location at the Menomonee Club.

Menomonee Club
1535 N. Dayton Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 664-4631

Please RSVP at info [at] filamenttheatre [dot] org if you would like to attend, so that we can pass that information on to the gracious people at the Menomonee Club.  A broadcast of the celebration in Marietta, GA will be screened at 7:30, with time to talk and share stories and memories. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, either through this website or at (773) 270-1660.

On October 18, 2010, a podcast aired featuring Allie and the cast of Choose Thine Own Adventure discussing and promoting the show.  The podcast is available here.  We will continue to gather photos and video of Allie and post them here to share with you.

All of us in Filament are profoundly grateful for her contributions to the company, and will be continuing her legacy with an annual gift to Chicago-based artists in Allison’s name. She recognized the challenges of the lifestyle of the artist, and believed firmly that artists should be monetarily compensated for their work.  We are establishing “Allie’s Gift” to provide individual Chicago artists with funds to grow and support their artistic careers. This gift will be offered annually on Allison’s birthday, April 26. More details will be available here on our website in the coming days.

We love you, Allie.

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9 comments

From Carolyn Kramer:

Oh my goodness, this is beyond anything i can write shocking and awful and strange and unreal and horrible and not fair and I can’t wrap my brain and heart around it. I remember my first impression of her, thinking how beautiful and sure of herself she was – her eyes were such a clear bright blue and she had a very strong, present voice – fearless and lively. Her comments and suggestions at these meetings were pointed, practical, useful, and unique (she offered her own very specific perspective, and was never afraid to share). Within moments of meeting her I remember recognizing “Wow, she is smart” – such intelligence! Both creative and mathematical. Her sense of humor was extremely clever and witty. Her laugh was strong and ready, like her voice, and so was her smile. These are the things I remember about her.

From Omen Sade:
My emotions have ranged over some extremes over the last few days since we’ve gotten the news of Allie’s death. How can someone come into our lives and have such a huge effect on us as individuals and as a community, give so much inspiration and energy to our efforts, write us perhaps the most successful show we’ve done to date, and then leave the world? Part of me will be sad in the joy of each of our successes in the coming years, wishing that she could celebrate with us. In a sense, she will always be with us, and that is an amazing source of joy for me.

From Ryan Reilly:

Allie,
I simply want to say, thank you. In the short time I knew you, you brought positivity, energy, focus, and fun to our group of dreamers. I’ll never understand why your time on earth was cut so short, but I want to applaud you on the way you spent that time. I’ve read through several postings from the people you’ve impacted all over the world and without a doubt you left every place and every person a little better than how you found them. Who will be deeply missed, but your impact never forgotten.
Love,
Ryan

From Jack Novak:

Allie did so much for Filament in her time with us, and Filament has done so much for me in my time with it. Filament is like that. When we contribute to Filament, we contribute to each other. I’m not just speaking of Allie’s contributions as a business manager, or her contribution of a wonderful script for our Fall production (Choose Thine Own Adventure), although, of course, those contributions are of significant value. As with any true community, we are not just a collection of job titles. I suppose what I want to say is that, despite how little I feel I knew Allie, she gave me a lot. She’s shown me the value of my fellow community (or, if you like, ensemble) members. Losing her so suddenly, so young, has scared me–stoking up fears about the worth of my own life. However, I hope she will remind us of our value to one another. I hope she will remind us of Filament’s value–that we have a vision and a group of people that are of worth. I know she reminds me of these things.

From Shayna Kamilar:

I did not even have to meet Allie before I knew how awesome she was. My first interaction with her was an email, and even through the cold hard type of an online inbox, she had a sparkling sense of humor. Upon first meeting her I was shocked again by her beauty and they way she ruled a room with her charm. She was by far my favorite new member of the company.

We shared a bond through being some of the only newbies to the Filament Staff, we would often walk to the train together and talk of our frustrations and dreams for Filament. As I got to know her more, I realized that I wanted this person to be in my life for a long time. I am not one to hold onto friends for very long, I am too independent, but she was so inspiring. She made Filament strong just by existing.

She gave us ‘Choose Thine Own Adventure’, the drive to work for what we deserved, the knowledge she possessed with finance to direct us in our ventures, and the courage to do things we weren’t sure we could do. I will always be grateful to Allie for every moment she was in our lives.

My fondest memories with her are of my birthday. When I thought everyone had better things to do, she and Mary got together and threw me a birthday dinner. She and Marco arguing about what constituted a good first date will always make me giggle, she really knew how to rile him up.

I cannot explain the loss I feel when I think of her now, which is often. Mostly because at times, it still seems like a big joke. She is still in Boston, we will see her when we go in May. It always hurts more when I remind myself that this is no longer true. She inspired me to be someone better, to be happier with what I have, I will never be able to thank her for that.

I will miss Allie, every time I sit at a Filament meeting it will feel incomplete. Filament is Incomplete without her, but we will celebrate the things she helped us to accomplish. We will continue forward with the hope of making her proud. My heart aches at the thought, but it will serve as a good reminder of a great friend lost.

Christian Libonati

In 28 short years, Allie lived so many lives. She lived so many places, made so many friends, and made such an effect on so many lives. I take comfort knowing that i am only one of the hundreds of people who shared Allie. I am only one of the people who felt her inspiration. One of the people she has changed. We are in good company. She gave me an overwhelming sensation of life. Now, I have to share what she shared with me. To give her gift. Here at Filament we talk about our 5 year plan, and then our 100 year plan. Allie will forever live in the love and values of the Filament Theatre Ensemble and continue to inspire ever more people.

…But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
(sonnet 18)

From Peter Oyloe:
There is indeed a taste to this season of change.
You have shared with us the craft of love upon the page, all the knots tied and yet loose from wear. We will kiss you, with this love, from the furthest window to your eyes.
We will hold you in the marrow of our remaining life and celebrate the everything of you.
All the glasses you have filled and emptied and filled again with the great spirit of you shall continue to drive our thirst, and our caring words, and our songs.
There was magic before us and beside us and within us to share and to be shared, the tender, the quiet whispers of deeply wisened eyes. These were your eyes, closed for sleep at times and bright with blazing passion for the journey.
You are great things embodied. You are forever a part of the everyday as we put brick upon brick to build the house in which we all have choosen to live and share together, as a better version of ourselves.
We shall always and always love these days, These days that have you in them. For that we are thankful. For that we are challenged. For that we are gifted.
For these are our collective memories. You have bound us all together
for ever more.

We will kiss you, with this love, from the furthest window to your eyes…

From Mary Spearen:

Dear Allie,

I’m writing this letter officially at 10:51 p.m. Chicago time and listening to Carol King’s Sweet seasons. I didn’t start this letter tonight though. This is how it began…

D ( I didn’t write Dear or Allie because that seemed to official)

D

I’m sitting in the Walgreen’s parking lot.

I cant get in to buy some wine. It’s 11 o clock here in Chi town listening to the Latino station. I’ve got my guitar and some frozen flat breads in the trunk to take to the party thrown in your honor.

I don’t want to cry for you friend. It doesn’t seem right. A couple of days before I heard I picked my guitar up and learned the song If I die young. Did you like that song? I always though it was just a little too gushy but on that particular day I decided to make it a part of my repertoire. I wish I could ask you if you liked it. I wonder if I would have ever asked you. You were gone from the state and I thought that was bad. Now you are gone from everywhere that I can see. You were genuinely good to me, I felt safe around you and when you were in the room I was content – you brought hope and light that floated around you touched all who you encountered.

I was going to come and visit you in Boson. We were going to be old lady friends. Drinking by the seashore talking about life and having fun with what we had made out of ourselves. We had just met only a year or so ago but life’s goals seem so trivial now looking back. Your time is up and that’s the end of your living here on earth. Where is your spirit these days? What are you seeing around you? Or are you the seeing? How do you fit in? I am dying to know the gossip of the after life. Are you running around giving advice to all of the angels? Are you old or young? You were an old soul to me and when I met John I knew he was the youth but I fear he is really sad now and that does make me cry.

In other news, I am trying to keep that plant you gave me (Bemily?) alive – she isn’t very happy right now and I wouldn’t be either. I’m sure living with you is a comforting experience like no other. She is just trying to adjust like we all are and I feel bad for her. I try to tell her to cheer up but I can’t remember her damn name. I want to call you Allie and ask you what kind of crazy name she had but I’m just going to have to name her again like you told me. Like you told me is what I’m going to take with me throughout my journey. I’m going to take you with me. You were someone I held very dear to me and I’m sorry that you are not here to share the everyday but now I think that you were meant for something higher and more righteous being the light that leads us through confusing times.

I am going to play that song If I die young as much as I can and perfect it for you so that when I play it it blows peoples minds and I know that you will appreciate that. I know that. I know things because of you. I miss you. I love you girl. I love you Allie. Please use me and talk to me when you can.

All my Love,
Mary

p.s. It’s 11:28. I’m trying to say what I need and I’m realizing this can’t be the final letter. Omen is asleep and I’m listening to the 70’s and there is a candle lit. I’ll talk to you soon.

Åsmund Iversen

I will love you always Allison. The news feels unreal. Gone to soon.
Love Åsmund.

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