It’s been a few weeks since the first Zoom/Facebook Live readings of my work. Theater continues to be a resilient, adaptable creature, and we’re all figuring out how to navigate this new frontier. And while it’s still strange to think about how many cast members and audience members have now been introduced to a sliver of my childhood bedroom via webcam… I’m very proud of the work we’ve been doing so far! Verona Walls and The Beach both had wonderfully successful readings last month. Audiences were appreciative and responsive, and, most importantly, the stories and characters came across beautifully, even as we were all stuck in our respective virtual bubbles. Actors were able to connect to each other and the audience. And the texts, while not necessarily ideally served by this medium, still landed with people (a great testament to the directors and actors involved, but also… a pretty good sign when it comes to the words themselves!). These readings also gave everyone involved at least a little taste of that thing we’ve all been missing: Community. Communal experience. It’s very odd being together while being apart, but these performances were a lovely reminder that none of us are alone–connection is possible. Of course, somewhat paradoxically, these experiences also serve to vividly remind us of what we’re missing. My god, I can’t wait to be back in a cheap rehearsal studio with folding chairs and mediocre sound proofing, or my living room with all the furniture pushed into the kitchen, just working on a play with a bunch of people I care about who can breathe the same air, feel the same rhythms, and hold each other’s hands.
Social distancing has made me slightly ramble-y… so onto the news!
A Project by Tawny Sorensen, a short play I directed for the Estrogenius Festival, had it’s Zoom/Facebook premiere last week. We adapted the text to be a bit more suited to these Zoom-y times and the play went very well! Both actresses (Sarah Elizabeth Grace and Kate Russo) had a lot of fun with the medium and delivered honest, engaging performances. A Project and The Beach will both be available to view on demand via the Estrogenius website by the end of May.
My pirate play, Heart of Oak, has been selected by two festivals (both of which have shifted online) and I’m really pumped to revisit this piece and to see what magic people make of it in these weird circumstances. First up is The Femme Fatale Festival (based in West Virginia), which will be presenting the play on June 5th. Then, shockingly soon after, we’ve got Babycastles–an NYC-based, multimedia art collective–broadcasting on June 10th. Big week for lady pirates! Just about a month away!
And rehearsals have just begun for a production of True West I’m directing, featuring a really excellent quartet of actors, some of whom I’ve known for a decade and some of whom I’ve met and become a huge fan of during these past few crazy months! We’ve had a read-through and our first blocking rehearsal and it’s strange and thrilling to be digging into the text with this ensemble. Performance dates are still TBD, but it’s gonna be good, folks.