Meet Val Hohman… Val is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Illinois. She has graciously agreed to join the
crazy train She Said team by offering her dramaturg skills.
1. What are you grateful for today?
Cute little skort I scored today.
2. Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
Karen is the bravest, strongest, most-inspiring, and coolest person I know. I met her around the time she and her partner were coming out in central Ohio. Her partner, Katie, was an indie folk singer-songwriter and one of the most magnetic people I’ve ever met. They had a beautiful backyard wedding, running down the aisle in wedding gowns and bare feet. Soon, they had two sons. Shockingly, Katie was diagnosed with a rare cancer that took her life a few years ago. Karen quit her job at BMW and went on a road trip visiting friends across the country with her two boys, not yet school age. She embraced adventure, encouraged freedom and play, and lived transparently. She was selected for a Tom’s shoe drop, going to Africa to donate shoes to children. She founded Firefly, a play center in Columbus, OH that emphasized creativity and natural exploration. She is currently teaching English in China, accompanied by the boys. No matter how long our families are apart, we always seem to fit naturally together when reunited. She gives you a sense of ease. And quiet courage.
3. We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
Recognizing the talents of others.
4. What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
Earn the rest.
5. Describe one of the best days of your life.
One of the best days of my life was the day I climbed Mt. Fuji with my friends in the 1990s while I was studying abroad in Tokyo. I don’t remember all the details, but I remember hours of steady (but easy) climbing at night up the lit mountainside, learning the words to a Japanese pop song. Arriving at the top in the dark, cold, hungry, and almost broke, I bought a cheap bowl of noodle soup that I shared with my friend. Then waited. Around 5am, the sun began to rise and hundreds of people crowded to the edge to watch. One voice called out, “Ohayo Gozaimas” in Japanese to which others responded, “Good morning!” in their native languages. Goosebumps like I’d never had before or after.
6. What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Nurture the idea of “community.”
7. What would you do if you were not afraid?
Eat more cheese.