Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Acting, Less Chickens...

A relatively successful run-thru last night.  A few troublesome spots for me.  Some sound cues that clearly do not fit what we're trying to do.  But aside from that, not horribly discouraging.

Angie's parents, Rex and Rosemary, are in the L.A. area and dropped in last night to see the dress rehearsal. Hard to say if they liked it or not.  I think they did.  But I think they were a tad put off by some of the tough language.  The play doesn't pull any punches in that area.  I remember a long time ago when the play was initially read out loud in a staged reading at Florida Repertory Theatre.  The Artistic Director of that company, the despotic Robert Cacioppo, said the play needed to be edited.  I wasn't there but was sent an audio tape of the audience feedback.  Cacioppo was very flippant and callous regarding the play.  He clearly didn't like it.  He became very prudish about some of the language.  This amused me because I know him personally and in private he swears like a drunken sailor.  But he doesn't like people cursing on his stage.  Incomprehensible. Yet another director type that has never actually acted himself.  These are dangerous folks in the professional theatre, in my opinion.

Anyway, they didn't say much about the language but I could tell they weren't used to all those 'fucks' and 'shits' and 'god damns' and such.  But nonetheless I think they liked the play.

I have been having a pitched battle with the director over the sound effects for some time.  My concerns, I think, were validated last night.  The play is not about chickens clucking or airplanes flying low overhead or polar bears roaring or any other quick and confusing sounds like that.  The scattered audience members were, to the last one, perplexed by them and taken out of the story because of it.  I can only hope they will go away before we open.

In any event, there were two spots I simply had to pick up my script briefly last night.  Today I will eliminate both of those trouble spots.  The entire day is devoted to learning them.

But the best news of the evening was that there were huge sections I felt absolutely comfortable with.  I wasn't, for the most part, struggling with the lines and I wasn't thinking about what came next.  This was a huge accomplishment for me.

Kyle Puccia has written, as I've mentioned before here, some beautiful and gut-wrenching music for the piece.  It was under utilized last night.  It is one of the most powerful aspects of the play and needs to be featured rather than taken for granted, I think.  I hope, that too, was made clear by last night's run thru.

Some wonderful acting from everyone last night.  Exquisite scene work.  I was pleased.

Still sort of stumbling around trying to find a light now and then, but that will sort itself out, I think.  The lighting is stark and dramatic.  I like it.  I just need to make sure I'm in it.

Victor Warren and Teal Sherer have really done some astonishing work with the piece.  Teal as the producer and Victor, of course, as the director.  Their commitment to the play has been unflagging.  I am eternally grateful to them both.  What a massive chunk out of their lives they've both taken in order to make this thing fly.  There are moments in the play Victor has directed sublimely.  Just terrific stuff.  And Teal has been literally working day and night for weeks, months, in fact, to pull it all off.  Ali and Coby, our booth guy and our lighting guy, are doing top flight work.  Really a wonderful team, all in all, that's been assembled.  I'm proud to be associated with them all.

Another night of dress and tech tonight.   Boning up on the lines all day.

I've reached the point where I can only really wear one hat now with this play; the actor's hat.  The rest will just have to take care of itself.  I can't protect the play as the writer anymore.  Just too many other things to worry about.  I have every faith they will straighten themselves out.

See you tomorrow.