The final curtain rang down last night on The Dixie Swim Club and we were a happy group of Washington Street Players. This was an amazing group to work with and a serendipitous event in and of itself.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, our winter show was supposed to be Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf…we had a great director in place and she was thrilled with her cast. A series of misfortunes transpired, including three different casts, and it became clear that we were not destined to do the show. The Board convened and, after brainstorming, we decided to move up a show that was planned for NEXT season into the winter slot. WSP prides itself on not pre-casting, except in very unique circumstances that are announced before auditions. In this case, because our time frame was compromised, we broke our own rule…at the meeting, three Board members jumped up and down waving their hands to to volunteer made the ultimate sacrifice and offered to take parts, but we still had no director (I would normally step up but I had just directed our Fall show [Prelude to a Kiss] and just couldn’t).
Enter Jim Melanson, a veteran of Milford area community theater and a good friend of WSP. He was willing to take on five opinionated, strong women and mold the show into something we could be proud of. We presented him with a short list of names to round out the final two cast members, he turned it back on us and asked that we cast the show. The compromise was made that we would pick our castmates, but he would assign parts after an evening of reading the script aloud. We were allowed to put in requests for parts…we didn’t all get the parts we “wanted”, but we each got the part we should have wanted.
Little did we know what was ahead…the five women started off as friends, but as almost always happens during the run of a show, became so much more. This was the first time in AGES that I have so totally trusted my fellow actors to pick me up when I fall, to tell me I could do it (and how I should do it <G>) and to turn a “job” into a work of love. As always, I wanted absolute perfection each performance…I personally had one really good night where I felt I did my character justice from beginning to end. But the real joy of this production was that it was really (as I guess it always is with live theater) a matter of how we recovered from adversity (for example, I dumped an entire glass of iced tea last night and we all just pitched in to clean it up while going on with the action). Not perfection, but huge satisfaction that no matter what happens, we got it done and shared an exciting evening of live theater with our audiences. A huge shout-out to my fellow Dixie Swimmers!