Phyllis Tickle 1934-2015
A dear and generous friend moved on to the Paradise chapter of her life yesterday. Phyllis lived her life fully to the end, and as her strength waned, her spirit was still encouraging and inviting larger thoughts and hopes about the world, the church, and the possibilities within ourselves.
A great friend and advocate of Elements Theatre Company, we will miss her here in our daily pursuit of beauty and truth. She was especially passionate about this pursuit and eager to have others join with her in shoring up the church and look to the light of its future. There are two things that stand out about Phyllis and her involvement with us: her humility and her fierce love of the bible stories that wed the will of man to the will of the divine.
Phyllis was no doormat, no self-effacing religious, but a fiery, articulate, and strongly convinced woman. Her humility was that much more significant because she would listen to and invite another point of view. There were several times where we would differ about her playwrighting, each of us strong in our feelings, and she was willing to change her work at our request. Her art was not just hers, and so she would allow the work she birthed to live through other people, and in doing so gave her artistic children the freedom to run and play without limit. These artistic children were often offspring of the bible stories she was so in love with. Figs and Fury tells the story of the prophet Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch; The Doorway (a play written by her specifically for the tenth anniversary of our church’s dedication) tied together the struggle of an artist and her muse with the lives of Moses, Elijah, Peter, and John – beloved characters that were never far from her consciousness.
So, while we are sad not to laugh and haggle with her over the theatre or language again anytime soon, we send our love and prayers on as she reunites with the Creator who gave her the gifts she shared so generously with us, and we say to her, Deo volente!