Patricia Rumble came to me a few years asking for some help in getting a show she wrote off the ground.
I was so taken by her passion for the theater and her passion for life, that I started working with her privately. It’s something I rarely do nowadays. But trust me, if you spent five minutes with this woman, you’d bend over backward while doing backflips, to help her.
She became one of my favorite clients. Ever. She was so optimistic about her future. And whenever I gave her an idea of something to do to get her closer to her goals, she executed it before we could even get off the phone.
I once told her to get in touch with a local Texas theater and see if they would help her with her show. The next day she drove down to the theater, talked her way into a meeting with the Artistic Director right then and there. And secured a reading. Boom.
I checked in with her a few weeks ago to see how she was doing. I was expecting to hear the good news I always heard when I checked in. She always had great stuff going on.
This time, she told me she developed early-stage cancer in 2020. She had a simple procedure to address it. And it ended up being not so simple. She had a series of complications, including . . . Covid.
She spent over three months in the hospital.
When she finally was in the recovery stage, she told me she was, “on fire to continue writing.” She started and finished a new one-woman show. She was adapting a previous play of hers into a musical. And she was in negotiations to turn another into a movie.
She said there was a reason she got out of the hospital – because she had “more to do.”
It’s hard to read the tone in an email, but, it read like it was written with the excitement of a college graduate, not a woman in her 70s.
But that was Patricia.
She was getting ready for another surgery. And in her last email to me, just 23 days ago, she said . . .
“Looking forward to theatre to be open once again so we can continue what we love doing.”
Patricia died last week.
That’s really all I have to say about it. I think you understand the type of theatermaker person she was.
But I will say this. She wanted to keep making theater. She wasn’t done. And now she can’t.
She’s another tragic example of how precious our time here is.
Patricia can’t keep writing. But I guarantee you this, she is up there right now, cheering us all on to do the things we dream about doing.
We owe it to her to do “what we love doing.”
I will, Patricia. I promise.