Backstage Tour: MEGGIE CANSLER AND IMPOSSIBLE CHANGES

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.

 

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?”

“Absolutely,” she replied. “I have to get out of here now.”

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.