Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well, that was awesome

Shakespeare Santa Cruz ended on Sunday night, and the tears and spirits were flowing in equal measure. La Ronde had already opened...and closed (we only had the two Tuesday shows) and was a spectacular success, if I do say so myself.

The response from the rest of the acting company was overwhelmingly positive after our opening night show. Of course, most of them hadn't seen any of us act, so there was a whole new aspect of respect to our relationships with them after they saw what we could do. As for the play itself, we all had a lot of fun, and there weren't any major mess-ups. With as little rehearsal as we got, that was as high as most of us were aiming for the performance. It all came together beautifully, though. And I ended the evening feeling totally elated and a bit smug. Something like this:

The closing show had a few more costume malfunctions (so much of the blocking in this play is dependent on people putting clothes on and taking them off, it's easy to flub something) but felt a lot more solid than the first one. Less nervous, almost manic energy and more thoughtful. We paid more attention to the entire structure of the play, and the show was better for it.

But now all the shows have closed, not just ours, and I've said goodbye to the company. We closed the season officially after the last Sunday night performance (Othello) with a silent candle-lit walk to the glen, and then Audrey Stanley--the founder of Shakespeare Santa Cruz--gave a short speech as we all stood in a huge circle, the only light coming from a hundred candles each of us held. Finally, the Love's Labor's interns sang a song from the end of their show and we all went back to the dock to get thoroughly drunk. I cried a lot.

This whole experience has been so fantastic, and I comfort myself by thinking what a small world the theater community is. There is a very good chance I will see most of these people again, that I'll get to work with them again. And in the meantime I've got plenty of places to stay all over the country. Look who's got connections.

I'm so grateful for these past few months. And I'm grateful to be heading back to school soon, to put all the things I've learned into practice. Watch out, Santa Barbara, I'm coming home.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You want me to do what now?

As the run for Lion goes on, I feel more and more comfortable with my various scene changes and cues and such and am focusing more and more on La Ronde. Holy crap that play. We had our first full run of the show last Sunday, and that was the first time I'd seen most of it. The way the play is structured -- two person scenes -- means there's no reason to call most of us for each rehearsal. Kirsten assuaged our fears by calling it a "train wreck run", just to see exactly where we were. I was pleasantly surprised. It's going to be a great show, and that was before we'd choreographed any of the sex.

The transitions between scenes are all going to be done to period appropriate music, for example, the transition into my scene with the Count will be an aria from an opera of the time: Die Fledermaus. But all the sex music is modern. Here's my song with the poet:

The Actress is turning out to be a sort of Victorian Betty Page, complete with garter belt and riding crop holster. My dad will probably have to avert his eyes for most of the scene. I don't wear much.

My scene with the Count is a little more subtle. Working out the power struggle and cat vs. other cat game has been a lot of fun, and we're getting into that really fun place where we have our characters down and we just get to play around and find all the little mini-beats and shifts that happen within the scene. Buckets of fun.