I have been trying to catch up on housework…finally have all but one of my “show” bags unpacked and put away, still have to put the wig on the wig head for storage…three loads of laundry down…I’m the first to admit that my other half is the one who does the majority of the house cleaning and organizing around here, but he planted the veggie garden while I was gone, emptied the kitchen in anticipation of a new coat of paint and a new vinyl floor (they put in the floor yesterday, it looks good and will look better after the walls are painted), cleaned a huge and very nasty spill in the refrigerator and and and…the least I can do is a few loads of laundry.
Now, on to theater…it was, as always, a dizzying, stressful, energizing, inspiring…Friday night, we saw Props (by Michael Roderick), Little by Little (by Annette Jolles and Ellen Greenfield), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (by Robert Maltby, Jr.)…Little by Little is a musical featuring three actors growing from children to adults, it was absolutely delightful…LOVED it…a combo of Sondheim / Jason Robert Brown / Charlie Brown.
Saturday morning, we attended a workshop put on by one of our adjudicators, Benny Sato Ambush…unfortunately, we didn’t get extra points for having our whole cast plus a crew member in attendance…it was a great learning experience and we all took away things which we tried to incorporate into our performance later that day.
Saturday afternoon was a short bill…The Bay at Nice (by David Hare) and Steel Magnolias (by Robert Harling). This particular production of Steel Magnolias featured a really intricate and fully-realized set and some of our area’s “elite” actors, with “the” director that everyone drooled to work with. A whole package…ended up taking the runner-up trophy, which means they will go on to the next level and perform in New Hampshire next spring.
Saturday evening was a blur…we were the first show of the evening…The Dixie Swim Club (by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten), followed by Boy Gets Girl (by Rebecca Gilman) and Side Man (by Warren Leight). Boy Gets Girl is the only show I didn’t get to see at EMACT, because they were right after us and I had to help strike our set into the truck. Side Man was really good, featuring two hugely strong women’s roles side by side with WONDERFUL co-starring and supporting roles for men…I thought they would be nominated for Best Production and that they might even win. They didn’t, but it was still a treat to watch.
Sunday afternoon’s session began with an adaptation of The Bear (by Anton Chekhov), performed IN RUSSIAN, Roman Fever (by Hugh Leonard) and Doubt: A Parable (by John Patrick Shanley). Doubt was polished and sure, but the play itself doesn’t thrill me. Roman Fever featured amazing costumes and hats. BUT, the surprise of the afternoon and the Festival as a whole was The Bear. We were prepared to be bored; instead, we were amazed and inspired. Igor Golyak played Chekhov writing The Bear, throwing in the occasional English phrase which helped guide us along the plot trail…and it helped to have read the synopsis. But the overwhelming wonderfulness of this production was the actors’ bodies…they way they moved, the way they looked at each other…their bodies (from tip of the toe to top of the head) were expressive and emotive and balletic and theatrical…universal understanding. They won just about everything, including Best Production. For all my friends in New Hampshire, you need to go to the Regionals in Concord, NH in March 2011…mark your calendars!
All in all, a wonderful weekend…rekindled some of my flagging energy as it pertains to my home group.