Since I told you I'd keep you informed as I go along ...
The second night of auditions for HARVEY was last night. I have a good cast - a GOOD cast. The only problem I had was in selecting the most fitting from a number of talented people. It's a problem I don't have very often.
The first actual rehearsal is tomorrow night. I can hardly wait to toss 'em in the mix and let 'em have at each other.
Sunday and Monday I’m holding auditions for the play HARVEY.
Remember that one? (Maybe not) Perhaps you’ve seen the 1950 movie, starring James Stewart, who is befriended by a six-and-a-half-foot-tall invisible rabbit. (Oh. Yeah. THAT one.)
Okay … I’ve seen stranger plays … I’ve WRITTEN stranger plays.
With HARVEY, in any case, playwright Mary Chase uses an invisible rabbit as a springboard for gently dated social commentary wrapped into a still cute and clever show. I liked it the first time I read it. The plot moves along nicely, and the characters offer a nice range of interpretation.
So I’m journaling this for you – a few of the things a director experiences in putting a show together. Maybe it’s interesting stuff.
The theatre in which HARVEY will be performed is interesting. Actually … it’s not a “theatre” at all. A little over twenty miles from home is a quite large and abandoned shopping mall. I love just wandering around the place, looking in sad and empty windows at the ghosts of commercial enterprises. The theatre took over several side-by-side stores. One entire building is the lobby. Opening beside it is the theatre auditorium. With a proscenium perhaps twenty feet high, the stage width and depth are at least fifty feet across. Down the street are two other buildings occupied by the theatre – one is rehearsal space, and the other is storage. I’ve never in my life seen a theatre with so much space. They could be in performance for one show and have TWO in rehearsal at the same time.
It’s a great place – once you find it. As I mentioned, it’s in the middle of an empty shopping mall the size of a small town … or so it appears. It’s a place you drive TO, not anything you would simply be driving PAST … unless you are as prone to getting lost as I am.
So. Auditions are Sunday and Monday. I have no crew for the play as yet – no stage manager, no set construction people, no lighting or sound people – nobody. (This year I’m doing two plays back-to-back, and my “regulars” opted for the second play – “Inherit The Wind.”) The other problem is that this is my first directing assignment at this particular theatre, so I don’t know their pool of people from whom to draw. Strangely, I’m more inconvenienced than worried. Crews appear when you need them. They always do.
Casting. In the end, it doesn’t matter how well a show is written, produced, or directed. If it’s well cast, the play will be a success. With this in mind, for months I’ve been recruiting performers to come and audition. No promises, but … On the other hand, there are other people who WANT to be in the play, and it’s not escaped my attention how pleasant and thoughtful THEY have been over the past few months.
It’s a a game, isn’t it? It’s fun if everyone plays fair.
In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree: where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground with walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
Jack Bunny is the alter ego of a playwright, theatrical director, and drama critic. If you are at a party and see a 150 pound rabbit at the punch bowl, it might be him!
(On the other hand, it might also mean that perhaps you should step away from the punch bowl for awhile.)
ANOTHER DUMB GHOST STORY (Full length)
THE REVENANT (Full length)
CORIE (Full length)
MORGAN (Full length)
VOLLEYS (Full length)
ELYCE TIMES ONE (Full length - written with J.E. Ocean)
THE DISENCHANTED FROG (Children's One-act)
THE ART OF BUILDING BRIDGES (One-act)
FROM MY VANTAGE POINT (One-act)
THE TRIAL (One-act)
WHAT'S NEW IN LATHERDUE? (Reader theatre One-act)
ROUGH DRAFT (One-act)
THE GRAND GILDER (One-act)
Old friend remembered
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
I hate writing, I love having written.
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
It must be summer. I can smell California burning.
Starbucks is where certain relationships go to die.
I can only answer the question 'What am I to do?' if I can answer the prior question, 'Of what story do I find myself a part?'
Walmart always makes me cry ...
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
The Bible in the hand of one man is more dangerous than a whiskey bottle in the hand of another.
Can people stop dying please? Just for a little bit. maybe.
Mettle not in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless person is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a Congress.
Wearing underwear is as formal as I get.
"Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain ..."
Our revels now are ended.
These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits, and are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.