Reigning Stanley Cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks begin training camp in the Compton Family Ice Arena on Thursday and will host public practices Saturday and Sunday, with a special student event Friday. Tom Nevala, general manager of the Compton Family Ice Arena, said Blackhawks’ General Manager Stan Bowman, a 1995 Notre Dame alumnus, wanted to bring the team to his alma mater to build community. “[Bowman] just happened to be in the area last February … and suggested that they might want to come to campus for training camp if we could work that out,” Nevala said. “They liked the idea of getting their guys all together to do a little team unity exercise instead of operating from their individual homes in Chicago and just coming to the United Center. They thought to spend a few days on campus with a facility like we have here would be a great way to start their next year.” Nevala said the Blackhawks would take advantage of Compton’s many amenities during training camp. “They’re bringing 60 players here so you have to have the locker space for 60 guys, and I think we were able to provide that compared to what they might be used to [at the United Center],” he said. “I think the opportunity to use both rinks [will be helpful] … Maybe they’re going to run practice on one side and the scrimmages that they’ve been advertising in the main arena.” During training camp, the Blackhawks will split up into three different teams and play two scrimmages a day, he said. The Blackhawks are also looking forward to experiencing Notre Dame’s campus for a few days, Nevala said. “I think they just like being in the campus environment, with Eddy Street [Commons] available,” he said. “They’re staying at the Morris Inn. I’m sure they’ll probably go play golf one day and we’re going to try to get them to football practice.” Blackhawks players will also attend a team dinner with the Notre Dame hockey squad Friday, Nevala said. Nevala said it was the Blackhawks’ idea to sell public tickets to Saturday and Sunday’s practices, which are currently sold out. However, Notre Dame was adamant about doing something special for its students, he said. “All along we were hoping we could do something unique for our students while [the Blackhawks] were here,” he said. “We said, ‘Well, how about we do a day with the students when you aren’t selling tickets,’ and it’ll be a unique opportunity for Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students to get in and see them scrimmage if they have time during their lunch break or something. We don’t want anybody skipping class, now.” Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students can attend the Blackhawks’ practice for free Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. in the Compton Family Ice Arena with a valid student ID. Nevala said he hopes the Blackhawks cap off their visit to Notre Dame by bringing the Stanley Cup to campus. “We’re hopeful that the Stanley Cup might be on campus at some point during this visit,” he said. “I literally don’t know how long it would be here if it’s going to be here. We’re hopeful it makes its second visit because Stan did bring it here in 2010. After they won the Stanley Cup that year, he used his day with the cup to bring it to campus for the Notre Dame vs. Stanford football game. We’re hopeful it comes again.” Nevala said he hopes the Blackhawks decide to return again next year. “We hope [the Blackhawks] enjoy their time in South Bend and on campus, and maybe they’ll decide this is a good way to start their year again in the future,” he said.
What essential items do you like to have on hand when you write?Nothing. It took me a little while to learn first how to use a typewriter—I mean I always could type, but I never thought I would write creative stuff on the typewriter. Later I taught myself the computer.What play changed your life?What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to write?That depends. I try, if I’m in the middle of something, to have left the ball in the air, so when I come back, I know exactly where I am and how I can catch the ball.Is it hard to leave the ball in the air? No. It’s rather easy. Writing is hard; it gets lonely. While I like to do it and there are moments of great pleasure, I’m glad to get away from it. But then I’m eager to return to it.What inspired Sylvia?My dog! My wife Molly teaches in town, and we bought this house in the country. I liked to stay up there and at that time. I did a lot of gardening and fixing up of the house, but I missed her. I had made myself a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and read this ad in the local paper about a Lab puppy. I always liked Labradors, so I just thought I’d go over and look at it. Well, I came home with it. My wife said, “For god’s sake! No more dogs!” I knew I was in trouble, but I had already fallen for this dog. I said, “I don’t think I can give this up.” The lines from the play are real. She said: “I won’t walk it. I won’t feed it. I won’t pat it. I won’t have anything to do with it.” One time I got quite sick with the flu, and she said, “Sorry, you’re going to have to get up and walk that dog.” Then she softened a bit, just as Julie [White] does at the end of the play.What are some of your dog’s names over the years?Porgy, Sambo (like Little Black Sambo—that was very racist; it was a long time ago), Alice was the first female dog I had, then I had a great rescue dog called Joe—even my wife adored him— and Snoozer, who is a character in a play of mine, and ultimately the last one I had is Bill. Most of them had human names. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016 What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about writing?To continue the habit. Don’t walk away from it even though you hit a slump or you don’t think you have anything else to tell the world. I’ve certainly felt that many times. Sit down and work even if you’re thinking, “This is going to be a useless morning and nothing is going to work,” something does. I’d say just stick to your last. Isn’t there an old expression, the workman sticks to his last? The very process of writing words can cause creative things to happen that you didn’t think were there.You are one of the most prolific playwrights working today. Do you attribute that to your persistence?I think so. You could say I can attribute it to my stupidly bourgeois habits.What drives you to write now that’s different from when you were first starting out?I always write about where I am. I wrote plays about falling in love and how to deal with kids. When my kids started to leave the nest, I wrote plays about that. I try to write as much as I can about my own experiences. I’m getting old and I’m writing about how it feels to get old. I’m just starting another one, but I won’t tell you what that’s about.Do you keep a notebook?I used to keep a notebook, but I don’t now. If you looked at my computer, there are sort of half-written plays with great titles, which never went anywhere.When you’re starting to write a play, do you make an outline?No. I start with the play. I think I want to have some place to go, so I don’t just write about two people talking or whatever it is. It might end in a very different way than I thought it would. I remember with Love Letters, I had no idea where it was going, I knew I had a pretty good story because I had two very different characters who were fascinated with each other, but then suddenly towards the end, I realized I had to kill her off. When I wrote the last scene, I cried—tears were dripping down my cheeks. I never expected it to go that way, but it had to go that way.What playwrights inspire you?How do you feel about being so closely associated with WASP culture?I used to think it was slightly pejorative. It meant snooty, alcoholic and intolerant. I used to think I wasn’t writing just about WASPs: I’m writing about issues people can understand and identify with. Then I began to realize that I was writing about my own culture; I didn’t realize how parochial my own culture was. I thought I was writing about the heart of American behavior. Not at all! Not everyone has dining rooms! I kind of woke up to the fact that I was exploring my own culture and how it was fading. Responding to that sense of obsolescence and that was really my theme. What does it mean to you to have Sylvia on Broadway? This is my third play on Broadway. It’s been wonderful: I’ve been working with the top people—designers, directors, actors. Partly because we’re doing a play that I’ve seen done many times, there hasn’t been that much for me to do. A lot of playwrights like to sit on rehearsals, and normally I do if it’s a new play. It’s impressive for me to see this play emerge on Broadway with these terrific people.You are known for loving musicals. Why don’t you write them?I do love them and I used to write them. The first time I went to New York—I was at a boarding school and my father got me tickets to Annie Get Your Gun with Merman. It just blew me away. Not only because she was so funny; she pretends she’s a Western kind of Okie, but she’s a New York girl from the beginning, middle and end. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was write musicals. I went to Williams College—Stephen Sondheim wrote the musicals there, but he graduated two years before I did. So I said, “I’m here, I can do that!” I certainly couldn’t write music, but I found people to write the music with me. The Korean War was on when I graduated. I became an officer on a giant aircraft carrier. We had the ship’s orchestra, and I wrote musicals. I loved it. Because of that, I went to Yale School of Drama. But then for some reason, I ran out of steam. I cut my teeth doing musicals, but I never wrote another musical. Oh, I did write one! A Cole Porter take-off, which didn’t work. A.R. Gurney is one of the most prolific and often produced playwrights working today. His many works include Love Letters, The Dining Room, Sweet Sue, The Cocktail Hour and Sylvia, which is currently playing at Broadway’s Cort Theatre with Annaleigh Ashford in the title role. Gurney recently moved into a spacious new apartment on the Upper West Side and invited Broadway.com over to talk about dogs (his most recent one, Bill, died a few months ago), Broadway and his “bourgeois habits.”What time of day do you get your best work done?I’m getting a little lazy now, but I’m normally up by 8:30 and at my desk by 9. I write in the morning, have lunch, and then write a little in the afternoon—just going over what I’ve written but not writing with any kind of the intensity that I can muster up in the morning. I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I’ve always been a morning writer. View Comments Sylvia What do you think all aspiring playwrights should do or see or read?Aspiring playwrights should write as much as you can. See as many plays of different types as you can. I know it’s not cheap to go to the theater these days, but you don’t have to go to Broadway. Read Ibsen, read Chekhov, see how the pros did it. Your generation grew up on television; I grew up on radio, and radio taught me the power of dialogue—how much of a story you can tell just through talk. Your generation is much more aware of the visual possibilities, but television tends to be reactive, the television camera tends to go to the person who’s listening and not the person who’s talking. Sometimes it affects younger playwrights because they’re so good at dialogue, but the television influence has suggested to them that plays don’t have to have that forward action that they must have. I think that you’ve got to learn that.What’s your favorite line in Sylvia?
“We’ll consider it. I think it’s unlikely at the end of the day that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver told NBA TV.”It’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo, they require a training camp and then they require rest afterwards.”Since professional players were allowed to compete at the Olympics, beginning with the 1992 Games in Barcelona, the United States has won six out of seven gold medals with star-studded squads made up primarily of NBA players.With more than 100 international players in the NBA, Silver added that he also had concerns for other countries – some of which have yet to qualify for the Olympics and will be competing in qualifiers next year.”There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we’ll be able to field a very competitive team,” Silver said.”I’m a bit worried about some of the international teams, because some of their stars play in our league and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams.”I’d only say these are such extraordinary circumstances that, even if we set out to plan for the Olympics, how can they even know what the world is going to be like next summer and whether they can go forward?”Topics : The NBA is not likely to have a break next season when the postponed Olympics are held, league commissioner Adam Silver said, casting doubt on the availability of NBA players at the Tokyo Games.The Olympics were postponed by a year, to July 23-Aug. 8 next year, because of the novel coronavirus, which also led to the NBA season being suspended, leading to a delay in the start of the new season and the conflict in schedules.The NBA season usually runs from October to June but with the 2019-20 Finals series now finishing this month, the new season is expected to begin in January with plans for the usual 82-game campaign and playoffs to follow.