Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where are my children?!

I’m sitting in an empty auditorium.

I look around at the darkened seating, a program or two occupying spaces where people had staked out territory only fourteen hours ago. Around the edges of the stage are the folding chairs used to seat the overflow of enthusiastic late comers … students mostly, I think, taking notes at first, and then caught up, caught up, pens laid aside, forgotten.

Every night it was the same.

RICHARD III closed last night. Six performances. An inordinate amount of work for just six performances, don’t you think?

It’s cold in here. You know the feeling – the kind of dry chill that reminds you of just how large the room is, and how minute is the portion you occupy. Last night it was warm in exactly this very spot. Did someone forget to turn off the air conditioning? It really doesn’t matter.

I stare at the stage – empty now. They dismantled the set this morning. Men came in – and a few women. With power screwdrivers they came, with ladders and furniture covers and dollies and in no time at all they took everything away – the throne, the platforms, walls windows doors everything.

But in the comforter of darkness I still see them – figures claw out of the darkness and stand resolutely on stairs that are no longer there and say “I am here! I am ANNE and MARGARET and BUCKINGHAM and GREY and CATESBY and RICHMOND …

And in the shadows, RICHARD … always in the shadows Richard …

People are coming. They are at some distance, but this is a theatre, after all. Sound is encouraged to carry. I suspect they are the crew about to turn the stage into the home for JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.

Oh well.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

For My Friends Who Have Been Following ...

Our production of RICHARD III opened Friday to a literally packed house (and stage. We ended up placing folding chairs around the fringes of the acting areas. That was interesting ...) On Saturday night not only were all these seats filled, but we sold a fistfull of "standing room only" tickets. So many people filled the theatre that we had to turn on the air conditioning ... in the middle of November.

The other production of RICHARD (being offered by another company in direct competition to ours) was panned by every media critic, and we are now listed under "Best Bets In Entertainment" in the city guide.

Never - NEVER - in the wildest stretches of my imagination would I have envisioned this reaction. I have now been interviewed three times, by serious people, seeking inspired enlightenment.

(And - let me tell you - it's difficult to appear guru-like when you are laughing so hard that it hurts.)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Ton And A Half Of Ham

RICHARD III opens tomorrow night to the general public, tonight to a select audience.

We've been working on this play since April - planning, building, casting, rehearsing - I don't think the invasion of Normandy had greater preparation.

And it promises to be a pretty good show. Seasoned adult performers and precocious juveniles explore complex characterizations. The drama is intense.

I'm starting to develop a grudging respect for the playwright. Although his work is a tad or two wordy, I think he definitely has potential.

And after combat with managers and producers, the play is being produced the way I envisioned it. Hopefully that will be a good thing. We will know very soon.

In a day or two the reviews will be in.

I'm already in pre-prep for the play I'm directing in the Spring.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weary ...

It gets that way sometime.

It's again late at night ...

Huh. Not really. It's twenty after eleven. Seems later. Much.

The play opens in six days and suddenly the theatre and others want to make changes. The producer, a woman with dubious talent and the uncanny ability to spout inane pedantic and totally cloying advice, sweetly suggests I count to ten, and then everything will be just fine.

I want to count to one and then kill her. It's the humane thing to do - I want to put her out of my misery.

But I won't. Instead I'll watch my vision pecked by people who do so in order to advance their own agendas ,,, It's happened before, and eventually I dropped away for ... years ... because I wanted something pure and was optimistic enough to think that next time I would get it.

But next time was no different from the last time, or the time before that, or the hundreds of times before that ...

So I will count to ten and tell myself that everything will be just fine because what I really really really really want is to be really really really mediocre.

Are there enough pills or drinks or drugs in the world to allow me to believe that? Dear God, why did you plant in me the desire to create - to reflect something of You - and then surround me with morons?!

Or maybe I'll just drop away again.

For good.