Not as ideal, however, was the three-hour daily commute, which left little time for anything outside of work. Over time,
Boone found herself increasingly disconnected from her passion for the performing arts.
There was another reason for the disconnect. In 2005, Boone’s family was devastated when her niece Danielle was
murdered by her abusive boyfriend. Overnight, Boone’s life was turned upside down, leaving a hole that could not be filled.
“For quite a while, I became very withdrawn, almost reclusive, trying to process this grief,” says Boone. Out of this
grief came a play called “him,” written by Boone’s cousin, Robin Hawkins, which told the story of Danielle’s tragic death
and helped to educate teens about domestic violence. Using Danielle’s story to help reach teens was important for Boone,
but her grief continued to overwhelm her.
“My parents could see I was becoming increasingly reclusive,” she says. “One night, they essentially tricked me into
attending a community meeting called Neighbor Night,” she says. Her parents had heard about this new gathering for
Moreland residents, and insisted that she come with them to see what it was all about.
“At this meeting, Sonia Winlock stood up and pitched the idea of doing a play as a way to help build community. She had
applied for a grant and was looking for help. I raised my hand, and the next thing I knew, I was the director,” says Boone.
The play was Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” which had two successful performances at Shaker Heights High School in
2016. The talented, multi-generational cast included newscaster Leon Bibb as the Narrator and several Shaker students, as
well as members of the Moreland Community Players.
For Boone, the success of this experience “was incredibly healing,” giving her the ability to enjoy a passion that had
gone dormant. She rediscovered “that moment of working with someone who has dreamed of being on stage. It’s a leap
of courage,” says Boone. “You have that moment in the sun where the spotlight shines on you. That’s what I love about
38 SUMMER 2019 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
Photograph by Angelo Merendino