A fixed ceremony takes center stage
Cary Grid texted his girlfriend Sylvia Khoury out of the blue in September 2017 to inquire about her friend Meghan VanArsdalen.
“Hey, whatever happened to your friend Meghan,” he asked one Saturday night in a West Village bar in Manhattan.
Ms. Khoury, a well-known playwright, had actually tried to set it up casually on a few theater trips over the past year, but either Ms. VanArsdalen, 31, an actress, or Mr. Grid, 34, a playwright, had been in other relationships. But not anymore.
The timing couldn’t be better tonight – Ms. VanArsdalen stood next to her during the hiatus from a play at BAM in Brooklyn.
“‘I’m dating Meghan right now,'” he recalled her saying, and after Ms. VanArsdalen immediately nodded, she sent him her number.
The next morning, Mr. Grid, who lived in Astoria, Queens, texted Ms. VanArsdalen and they met that evening at the DTUP, a coffee shop by day and bar by night on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
There he often worked on plays during breaks from his job, then as chief editor in marketing at 92nd Street Y. He now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a playwright and freelance copywriter for digital and marketing clients.
In February 2020, his romantic comedy “The Sabbath Girl” was released off Broadway at 59E59 theaters and will be performed in December at the Ariel Theater in Philadelphia. He graduated with honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and received a Masters in English and American Literature from NYU
“I was back in New York for six weeks doing a play,” said Ms. VanArdsdalen, who moved from Manhattan to Ann Arbor in 2016 and had just rehearsed the poet acts for the New Yorker on A Word of Love Theater festival.
In 2019 she starred in Sydney in the comedy Welcome to Paradise with the Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, Michigan, and grew up in a nearby equestrian center in Jackson, Michigan.
She is also a dog walker at Snaggle Foot in Ann Arbor and teaches a drama class through Theater Nova at two local public schools. She graduated summa cum laude from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan and received a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the New School.
“I knew him to be very reserved,” she said, and was surprised when he hugged her.
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As they sat on a couch talking for the next four hours, episodes from The Twilight Zone played silently on an opposite wall and he found out she lived in Ann Arbor.
“I felt a connection,” he said.
It was her too. “I was so captivated by him,” said Ms. VanArsdalen. “We had our passion for the theater, for creating art.”
You were the last to go and kiss good night outside.
When they met at Lincoln Center two days later before going to a restaurant in Astoria, he gave her a copy of “John,” a drama by Annie Baker, one of his favorite playwrights.
“We essentially spent two weeks together,” he said while watching her play twice, describing her state of mind as “magical romance land.”
After she returned to Ann Arbor, they flew every two weeks to see each other. In spring 2018 he moved in with her and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Roo, and at the beginning of the year they got another Cavalier, Puck.
He suggested after the Christmas tree lights in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in November 2018, and then there was cider nearby.
“We had a very busy 2019,” he said. “I had a show in New York, Meghan had a show in Michigan,” but when Covid showed up, they took a break and planned their wedding.
On September 11th, Ms. Khoury, who became Minister for Universal Life on the occasion, officiated in front of 100 guests at the Gem Theater in Detroit, and Venue.
“It meant a lot to be on stage again,” he said. “I wrote the introduction, the conclusion and the transitions with actual stage directions.”
“Cary and Meghan kiss. Applause, cheers “, was a natural talent.