Transcendence Theatre - June/July 2017


JUNE 2017 877-424-1414 | WWW.BESTNIGHTEVER.ORG


wondered if this was all I ever wanted. When you end up in these moments, all you can do is look deep inside to find your passion again. I got back to my feet and knew what I wanted out of life was to reach my full potential as an artist, to get as healthy as I possibly could, and to create something with my art that would make a difference in the world. I envisioned a theatre under the stars where having the best show wasn’t the only goal — you were there to have the best life. Through a series of serendipitous events, my husband, Brad, and I found ourselves in Baja Mexico, working with friends and strangers from across the United States to bring to life our first Transcendence project, creating art and connecting with the community. It was in Baja that my vision for a theatre company that could change the lives of artists and communities became a reality. Together, we are able to create transcendent experiences that inspire us all to live the best life ever and make a positive impact on the world. As I look back on the last decade of the Transcendence story and how far we have come together, I cannot thank you enough for being a part of the Big Dream. I hope you find the stories we share in this newsletter to be interesting and exciting, and that through them, you get to know Transcendence on a deeper level.

Transcendence is a story of serendipity — a thousand little moments of impossible happenstance led myself and many others to come together under the banner of living the best life ever. The story of Transcendence may have started with me, but because of the support from wonderful patrons like you, the story goes on. Thanks to you, the vision of Transcendence Theatre Company has come alive, and so many magical moments have happened — and continue to happen — every day. Many of you have heard the story of Transcendence, or parts of the story. I could write a book — and someday I will! — about all the incredible stories that led us to where we are today. They’re stories of lives changed, marriages, babies, personal transformation, and so many more. You are as much of a part of this story as I am. The story of Transcendence isn’t about me; it’s about we .

We are all in this together!

One of the most unusual elements of the Transcendence story is where it started: creative collapse. There are moments in your life when you find yourself balled up on the floor, trying to figure it all out again. After years on Broadway and in national television commercials, I hit a wall and

– Amy Miller


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4 FOODS FOR YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE What we eat influences not only our overall health, but how we age. Diets high in fat and sugar tend to age us quicker — and they can be detrimental to our brain, especially when it comes to memory and cognition. Want to maintain a youthful spark and keep your mind sharp as you age? It’s all a matter of incorporating the following foods into your diet (while cutting down on the junk). Avocados These green machines are high in healthy, monounsaturated fat. It helps maintain a more ideal blood pressure and can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure as you age. Because avocados are high in fat, you still want to watch how much you eat. Like any of the foods on this list, consuming too much of a good thing can negate the positive health benefits.

Blueberries These juicy little blue balls of goodness are packed with

antioxidants, which keep cells functioning at peak performance. That includes cells in the brain and those believed to be associated with both short- and long-term memory. Eat blueberries as a snack, toss them in a smoothie, or add a handful to some salad, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. Flaxseed One of the easiest ways to boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake is to add a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed to foods you already eat (freshly ground is best). Omega-3s help reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Flaxseed is also high in fiber. These wonderful things come together to lower LDL cholesterol. Salmon This is one fishy friend that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is one of the heart-healthiest sources of protein you can eat. Other varieties of fish are exceptionally heart-healthy as well, namely sardines and anchovies, but those can be an acquired taste for some folks (though they are great in salads).



When Meggie says Transcendence leaves you changed, she doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get engaged at a winery while Amy Miller hides in the bushes to take pictures — but she isn’t going to say it’s completely impossible.


Every summer, during Transcendence Kids Camp, cast and crew members work with kids to inspire creativity, build confidence, and teach them lessons about theater. Annette Lee is a young woman who’s attended Kids Camp since its very first year, and she’s been able to bring the skills she’s learned with Transcendence into the community. Last summer, Annette joined “The Passage Project,” a special workshop founded by local director, Cat Austin. Their inaugural performance, “Unleashed”, featured five amazing teenage girls who told their stories through song, monologues, dance, and poetry. With Cat’s facilitation, and drawing from skills she learned in Kids Camp, Annette was not only inspired to write a number of original songs but also work as a leader for one of the group songs.

Annette isn’t the only member of the Lee family to be inspired by Transcendence. Her younger sisters also participate in Kids Camp, and her mother, Shannon Lee, was reintroduced

to her longtime love: tap dancing. The Lee family has been a Transcendence patron from the very beginning. Before the company even had a stage, Annette’s mother and grandmother showed how much they believed in the Transcendence dream when they became some of the first patrons. This July, we’re thrilled to feature Annette’s original song from “Unleashed”, performed by Transcendence artists on the very stage our patrons helped us build!

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• 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets • 1 fennel bulb, fronds removed, thinly sliced • 3 tablespoons ghee, melted • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*

• 1 tablespoon curry powder • 1 teaspoon turmeric • ½ teaspoon garlic powder • ½ teaspoon coriander • ½ teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon white pepper • Chopped parsley, to garnish

stage Tour


INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

At every new session at Transcendence, our artistic coordinator, Meggie Cansler, poses this challenge to cast members: “I dare you to leave unchanged.” She explains, “Transcendence has such an impact on the community and on your own emotions; being part of this company increases your ability to believe in yourself more than you ever have before.” When Meggie first came out to perform with Transcendence, she thought she would just sing and dance in wine country for a while. She never guessed she’d leave her place on Broadway, performing in shows like “Wicked,” “The Apple Tree,” and “Finian’s Rainbow,” in favor of Sonoma, but the positive energy and wonderful people pulled her back. When an opportunity presented itself, Meggie jumped at the chance to join Transcendence full time in 2015. But first, she went to a New York restaurant, ordered a veggie burger, and met the love of her life. At the restaurant with a terrible meal and a loud, crowded restaurant, she requested the check before she’d been seated for long. Beside her, a guy asked, “Is the food really that bad?” The check took long enough for the gentleman to introduce himself as Brian and start a conversation. When the check finally arrived, Brian asked if they could go someplace to hear each other better. Meggie agreed, and the two ended up talking for over four hours that evening. What might have been a bittersweet example of “two ships passing in the night” changed into something truly serendipitous when Brian mentioned he lived in California, just two hours from Sonoma. Meggie’s cheeky farewell of “talk to you never,” turned into “talk to you every night for at least three hours, start dating, and ultimately get engaged.” When Meggie says Transcendence leaves you changed, she doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get engaged at a winery while Amy Miller hides in the bushes to take pictures — but she won’t say it’s completely impossible. “Absolutely,” she replied. “I have to get out of here now.”

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, add florets and fennel along with ghee and toss to coat. Then add the other ingredients and toss again. 3. Place in the oven to bake for 35 minutes or until slightly browned. 4. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley on top! *Nutritional yeast is not required, but it gives the dish a cheesy flavor, so is recommended.

Recipe inspired by



19201 SONOMA HWY #214, SONOMA, CA 95476 877-424-1414 • WWW.BESTNIGHTEVER.ORG

Inside This Issue


The Story of Transcendence


4 Foods For Youthful Exuberance


Stars Offstage


Backstage Tour


Curry Roasted Cauliflower


How to Journal Without Journaling


Journaling is both a chance to organize your thoughts and an opportunity for therapeutic release, but traditional journaling isn’t for everyone. If you hit a wall every time you try to put pen to paper or worry you’ll have to burn your journal when you’re done, there are other ways you too can enjoy the benefits of journaling. Write Letters to Your Kids Framing journal entries as letters to children can help provide a starting point for you. Many parents journal like this with the intent of letting their kids one day read the letters, but that doesn’t have to be your end goal. Nor do you have to write to your kids. You can address your letters to your spouse, a close friend, your mother, or even a loved one who’s passed away. Record Quotes Quotes are special because they capture a profound feeling in just a few words. By recording some of your favorite quotes, you’re able to capture those feelings and reflect on why they resonate with you. Include quotes from historical figures, books, song lyrics, something you heard waiting in line at the coffee shop, or some of the “darndest things” your kids say.

Go Digital Apps like Day One for iOS or Journey for Android are perfect for recording your thoughts quickly. Journaling apps are as easy as scrolling down social media, but can be locked for your eyes only. Integrate written segments with photos to create entries you can reflect on from your phone, tablet, or computer. There are as many reasons to journal as there are options for alternative journaling. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy doing every day. Happy journaling!


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