Actress Valerie Lash Dazzles Full House With Reading Poetry and Prose
May 10, 2019
Photos by Stephen Cherry Photography
Award winning actress Valerie Lash generated repeated applause and laughter during a reading to a full house at the inaugural “Connection Community Columbia” series presented by the Residences at Vantage Point Arts & Culture Collective.
The program, “Women’s Voices Through the Years” featured Lash’s selection of favorite poetry and scripts from her five decades of performance. She began the evening with a favorite poem from childhood, Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat,” followed by Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” and Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd.”
With 50 years of acting behind her, Lash has a history of performing Shakespeare. From her repertoire, she selected to read Sonnet 29, which begins, “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,” followed by Portia’s impassioned “The quality of mercy is not strained” from the Merchant of Venice. She concluded this portion of the program with a blood-curdling speech by Lady Macbeth, urging her husband to murder his visiting king.
Lash then moved the crowd to laughter by reading “I Want a Wife,” a piece by Judy Brady that appeared in the first issue of Ms. magazine in 1971. She followed with a section from Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore and Judith Viorst’s “Facing the Facts,” a comedic look at aging. She capped this section with a raucous version of “My Angry Vagina” from The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Her gentler conclusion to the evening was “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Front, a favorite of the actress.
Lash is the Dean of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Theatre at Howard Community College. She is also the Founding Artistic Director of Rep Stage. Among her many accolades, Lash has received an Artist of the Year “Howie Award” from the Howard County Arts Council, is an inductee of the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame and was most recently honored with the Audrey Herman Award for passion and support of arts and theatre across the greater Baltimore community.
Residences at Vantage Point was founded in 1990 and is a nonprofit serving people age 60 and above. Managed by Life Care Services, the community includes a variety of residential living arrangements from studio to three-bedroom apartments. It provides long-term health services available exclusively for residents should they need them.
Residences at Vantage Point is noted for its arts, cultural and educational activities, as well as for resident engagement with the larger community of Columbia. It is located at 5400 Vantage Point Road. Call 410-992-1241 or visit us at www.vantagepointresidences.org for more information.